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Thread: Spotlight on vermiculite

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    Spotlight on vermiculite

    Thought I would pass along an article from the November/December issue of How-To
    Gardening.
    ccgpro

    Spotlight on vermiculite

    Is vermiculite safe for houseplants? If not, what's a good substitute? -Ruth Allen, Snohomish, WA.
    Vermiculite doesn't pose a threat to plants. It's humans who are at risk from exposure to the asbestos that's contained in some products made from vermiculite. For decades, W R. Grace and Co. mined vermiculite near Libby, Montana. The asbestos-contaminated mineral was made into home insulation and other products. Though the Libby mine shut down in 1990, vermiculite continues to be mined elsewhere, and in 2000 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found low levels of asbestos in some soil amendments and premixed potting soils that contain vermiculite. According to the EPA, "Potential exposure to asbestos from vermiculite products poses only a minimal health risk to consumers."
    Despite the minimal risk, the EPA does suggest finding an alternative to vermiculite. Depending on what you use them for, bark, perlite, sawdust, and sand may be good substitutes. If you do use vermiculite, keep it moist to reduce the amount of dust (and asbestos fiber) getting into the air. Use it outside or in an area with good ventilation, and don't bring the dust inside on clothing or shoes. Choose premixed potting soil over pure vermiculite, as it contains more moisture and is less likely to release asbestos fibers into the air.
    To root cuttings, try clean sand or perlite. You can also find horticultural-grade vermiculite over the Internet

  2. #2
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    to posting on terraforums (since you've been a member for a while )

    We've discussed the dangers of perlite a few times here... This is one of the more popular topics on the subject I could find using the search feature of this forum

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...erlite+breathe

    Andrew
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
    Support FlyTrapShop, support TerraForums! www.flytrapshop.com

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    rattler's Avatar
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    old news..............besides if you worry about every lil thing that might kill yah you wont get out of bed in the morning.......far more likely to die in my shower than from something i use for my plants soil.......
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    If I ever huff enough vermiculite to get Mesothilioma, I'll really kick myself for not worrying about my potting mediums (which don't include vermiculite, but not because I'm afraid of asbestos.)

    Note: If you're worried about vermiculite, you had better stay away from Sphagnum without gloves on and if a fluorescent light has ever broken in your house, move. No wimps allowed in this hobby.

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    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    My what a lovely welcome you two.

    vermiculite chunks are rather harmless in and of themselves. Its the dry dust you can inhale that is the concern. It goes away rapidly and does not become airborne once it is in the potting media. If you are concerned about it, be careful not to breathe in the dust of newly opened bags and to disturb large volumes of the pure dry material... those are the only times when there is a large concentration of airborne vermiculite dust. Well washed vermiculite (by you) is dust free, and wet vermiculite does not release dust either. Once the chunks are in the soil mix, they are pretty much harmless.
    that makes no logic

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    rattler's Avatar
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    My what a lovely welcome you two.

    i try Finch.....i really do ..................actually didnt even notice it was the guys first post as Andrew was typing his reply the same time i was typing mine............im serious when i say i dont care much about my soil ingredients and the potential harm they could do........i figure between my love of hot showers and the fact i put 40 some thousand miles on vehicles every year(thats just with me behind the wheel) that im more likely to be killed by slipping and falling in the shower or via a motor vehicle accident........not going to wory bout some damn dust that maybe...........might could give me cancer...........as i said if im going to worry bout every damn thing that might give me cancer ill just stay in bed.......
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  7. #7
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    It takes a real man to snort a fat line of hydrated basaltic minerals! I suppose next you'll be telling us not to smoke cigarettes and that drinking booze while pregnant is bad? I like my lungs black and my uterus well pickled, thank you.


    Inhaling blood worms... now that's scary business! Where's my epinephrine?

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    rattler's Avatar
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    big difference between snorting a pile of dust and inhaling a bit when yah open a bag........ones stupid and the other i dont think its worth worrying about
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

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