Diatomaceous Earth, also known as fossil flour, CELITE® (a registered trademark of Imerys Filtration Minerals Inc.), diatom remains, or DE, is a fine, silty, soil-like substance that is composed of fossilized sea creatures known as diatoms. The shells from the diatoms form a sedimentary rock known as diatomite. This rock is easily pulverized into a loose powder called diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is used in pool filters, toothpaste abrasives, and polishing compounds.
In addition to the applications previously described, diatomaceous earth has a wide variety of commercial and industrial uses. Diatomaceous earth is a main ingredient in dynamite, preventing the nitroglycerin contained in that compound from exploding prematurely. Food Grade Diatomaceous earth has applications as a livestock feed supplement, a preservative for stored grains, odor control for animal bedding and litter areas, a blood clotting element, and an insecticide. Some processors promote the use of diatomaceous earth as a human health food additive.