Diatomaceous earth is a natural soft rock that crumbles into a fine pale-colored powder of small particle size, and is formed by silicon-based skeletons of diatoms settling as sediment. One form, amorphous, is a known cancer hazard, and is commonly used for filtration. Alternatively, food-grade diatomite is used in livestock feeds to control intestinal parasites and, as in foods, to prevent powders from caking.

It has many applications, including filtration, pest control, and agriculture.

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