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Horticultural vermiculite asbestos contamination

Horticultural vermiculite asbestos contamination



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Click to see full answer. Likewise, people ask, does vermiculite for gardening contain asbestos? Not all vermiculite garden products contain asbestos , but an EPA study showed that some contain low levels of asbestos. Asbestos was found primarily in the unmixed vermiculite product sold separately as a soil amendment.

Content:
  • Vermiculite: FAQs
  • Vermiculite – Perlite – Use Caution – Seed Starting
  • US Government warns of ‘potential risk to workers’ using common vermiculite granules
  • US: Vermiculite Products Could Expose Consumers to Asbestos
  • Vermiculite: a review of the mineralogy and health effects of vermiculite exploitation
  • Vermiculite
  • I use/used vermiculite to enhance my potting soil. Should I be concerned?
  • Commercial Vermiculite Handlers May Be At Risk For Asbestos-Related Disease
  • Dallas Home to Asbestos Contaminated Horticultural Vermiculite Plant for Decades
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: STOP u0026 WATCH Before You Test Vermiculite For Asbestos!

Vermiculite: FAQs

If you are standing in the gardening center, trying to figure out which additive your soil needs the most, wondering what the difference is between perlite and vermiculite, then this article is for you.

The two additives are similar, but they are distinctly different in a few important ways. Read on to learn more about these two all-natural soil amendments that gardeners use to change the water retention and nutrient retention levels in their garden soil.

Perlite is made from volcanic rock, which is heated and crushed until it explodes in order to transform the rock into small white pieces. It has medium water retention ratings and low nutrient retention ratings. It is added to soil mixes in order to improve the drainage capability of both soil-based and soilless potting mixes.

Perlite is lightweight, odorless, clean, and easy to handle. Add perlite to your soil for plants which need their soil to dry out between waterings, such as cacti or succulents. Vermiculite is magnesium-aluminum-iron silicate. It is an all-natural mineral product that is mined out of the ground and then processed into a soil additive that mainly increases water retention and nutrient retention levels in soil.

It looks similar to mica with its layers or stacks, which are suited for trapping water. It has high water retention and high nutrient retention levels. Contrary to rumor, vermiculite does not contain asbestos and it is not a type of asbestos.

This rumor is due to some vermiculite that happened to be contaminated with asbestos in a mine in Libby, Montana, which was closed in due to the contamination. Vermiculite from other sources has since been tested and proven to be asbestos free and harmless. The medium is considered safe for commercial and personal use.

Vermiculite is best used for water-loving plants that need their soil to stay moist at all times. Add a healthy scoop of vermiculite to the potting soil of plants that like lots of water. The plant roots grow around the particles and take in whatever moisture they need and since the particles of vermiculite take a long time to dry out, moisture is always there for the plant, enabling it to grow quicker and more healthy. The complete soil recipe consists of one third vermiculite, one third compost, and one third peat moss.

Mel has always been a big fan of vermiculite and thinks that it is far superior to perlite. Perlite and vermiculite are both lightweight sand substitutes for soilless potting mixes which are often used to improve aeration and texture in potting soil and garden soil mixtures.

Both are odorless, sterile, disease-free, insect-free, and seed-free. Neither medium will rot, deteriorate, or decompose. Both mediums are used as an ingredient in soilless potting mixes that are made for the cultivation of plants as well as for seed germination, propagation, hydroponics, containers, and transplants. They are both also commonly used as carriers in dry fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to improve coverage.

Both perlite and vermiculite are put to use in the garden to improve drainage, prevent compacted soil and increase moisture retention.

They are both used in propagation of new plants and for seed starting and cultivation for indoor growing, outdoor growing, and composting. The differences in the way each medium retains water and how much water each medium can retain make them suitable for different applications. Vermiculite is perfect for plants that enjoy lots of water, such as some irises and forget-me-nots. Perlite dries out too quickly for water-loving plants.

The amount of water that vermiculite holds is too much for plants like cacti, succulents, or rhododendrons, which need a well-draining soil. Using vermiculite for plants like these could lead to root rot or death. Perlite is harder, is white in color, and is made out of mined volcanic rock. Perlite is slightly alkaline, while vermiculite tends to be closer to neutral. Vermiculite and perlite do share many qualities.

Both products are inorganic, lightweight, and relatively sterile. And of course, both are used as a soil amendment to aerate soil—though perlite provides more aeration than vermiculite. However, vermiculite holds more moisture and keeps it available in the soil longer than perlite will.

So how do you know which one you should choose? Vermiculite is also the best choice if the plants in your garden are sensitive to alkalinity in the soil. Vermiculite is also the go-to when it comes to starting seeds because it protects seedlings against damping-off and other fungal diseases that can threaten them as they start to grow.

Perlite is optimal when it comes to rooting cuttings from established plants because it helps prevent the rot that can otherwise be a challenge. Perlite is also the best option for planting epiphytes, cacti, succulents, and other plants that require plenty of drainage and aeration and can tolerate a slightly higher pH level.

Use perlite to root cuttings or grow cacti, succulents, epiphytes, and other plants that benefit from quickly draining soil with plenty of aeration.

Perlite can also offer a humidity boost to plants that need it. Vermiculite is better suited for starting seeds and other situations when plants require plenty of moisture consistently available in their soil. To reuse your perlite, simply pick through it to remove any plant bits you find, such as root segments.

Then rinse the perlite thoroughly. If sterility is a concern, you can sterilize your perlite in 10 percent bleach solution. Use water to dilute. After soaking in the bleach mixture for 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly. Most plants can be grown with success in perlite without anything else added to it. You will need to water your plants, of course, and supply them with nutrients from an appropriate fertilizer. Mixing perlite into the soil in your outdoor garden beds or combining it with potting soil or another medium is the most common way to use perlite.

To start seeds, use a mix of half perlite and half peat. Cuttings can use this mix too, or you can up the perlite to percent. For garden beds, spread a two-inch layer of perlite, then mix it into the top six to 12 inches of soil.

Potted plants can use a third perlite and an appropriate potting soil for the rest. Perlite does not decompose over time because it is made from superheated volcanic rock.

That means vermiculite is a permanent way to amend and improve your soil. How much perlite to add depends on what you want to grow. For seed starting, use half perlite and half peat.

Cuttings can be rooted in this same mixture, or you can increase the perlite up to percent. For potted plants, use one third perlite and two thirds potting soil. Garden beds get a two-inch layer of perlite mixed into the top six to 12 inches of your garden soil.

Although perlite does resemble Styrofoam, it is not Styrofoam. Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic rock that has been heated and crushed until it changes in color and texture. Perlite is an excellent amendment for clay soil when you want to increase the drainage and aeration of the soil. Till or loosen your clay soil to a depth of six to 12 inches, then spread a four-inch layer of perlite across the top. Mix the perlite into the soil you already loosened. If your clay soil could use a boost of organic material, use half perlite and half peat for this process.

The drainage and air circulation perlite offers makes it an excellent soil amendment for growing succulents. Use one part potting soil choosing one without vermiculite that offers excellent drainage , one part coarse sand, and one part perlite. Perlite can be processed organically. Vermiculite can be organic, but it is not always organic.

Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that humans mine, heat up, and package for gardeners to use. When the mining and processing is done organically, vermiculite is organic. As a naturally occurring mineral, vermiculite is very safe to use. Rumors to the contrary that you may have heard are linked to one mine, which is now closed, which produced vermiculite tainted with asbestos fibers.

Vermiculite currently on the market does not contain asbestos. Vermiculite in potting soil also helps the soil retain nutrients and keep them available for plants. Perlite specializes in aerating soil and helping it to drain quickly. That makes perlite beneficial for plants that are susceptible to rot diseases.

Adding perlite to your soil also increases humidity, which some plants need to thrive. Perlite is also an excellent option for rooting cuttings or growing cacti, succulents, and epiphytes. Perlite is made from volcanic glass obsidian with water trapped inside that is then superheated by humans and crushed until it changes in color and texture.

The water trapped in the volcanic glass has a popcorn-like reaction when superheated and crushed, turning the substance white and making it foam-like. Vermiculite aerates soil and increases its ability to retain moisture holding more water for longer and retain nutrients, making them more consistently available to your plants. Epic Gardening covers Perlite vs Vermiculite. Love to Know covers Vermiculite for Gardening. Maximum Yield covers Perlite for Hydroponic Gardens.

Washington Post covers More on Potting Mix. I want to plant ground cover roses and dwarf pines in my front yard. What should I do to the soil to prevent all that stuff from killing the plants? The yard is rocks. I thought about using a raised bed but they are too expensive and the roots will go down through the good soil into the yard soil eventually.

The article was interesting but was recommending peat to be used in the potting mixes. Is this the right thing to do when we are supposed to be using less peat and preserving our peat uplands and lowlands?


Vermiculite – Perlite – Use Caution – Seed Starting

Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. In November , the Environmental Protection Agency EPA sent a team of investigators to the small town of Libby, Montana, in response to media reports of a high incidence of asbestos-related disease among its residents. The response team found that yards, homes, school playgrounds, and industrial sites in Libby were contaminated with asbestos as a result of W. Vermiculite is a unique mineral that expands like popcorn when it is heated. Unfortunately, however, the vermiculite ore body near Libby is contaminated with asbestos.

“There is no safe level of asbestos exposure,” said Lon Grossman, a certified asbestos Mason, whose company tests vermiculite mailed in by home owners.

US Government warns of ‘potential risk to workers’ using common vermiculite granules

However, the presence of another source of asbestos, vermiculite insulation , is not always included in this assessment. Failure to account for the presence of vermiculite insulation in properties may result in serious health risks to occupants, especially if remodeling or other activities occur on the property that may disturb the vermiculite. The presence of vermiculite insulation in homes and other structures should be evaluated and occupants should be warned when vermiculite is identified. Steps should then be taken to minimize contact with this material. The purpose of this guide is to promote awareness of vermiculite Zonolite attic or wall insulation. Vermiculite is a silver-gold to gray-brown mineral that is flat and shiny in its natural state and resembles mica. Flakes of this mineral can also range in color from black to shades of brown and yellow. Vermiculite in attic spaces is commonly described as resembling kitty litter or floor dry desiccant material due to its color and granular appearance as illustrated in Figure 1.

US: Vermiculite Products Could Expose Consumers to Asbestos

The U. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether products made from vermiculite could expose consumers to asbestos. Preliminary test results on common household products indicate that a particularly lethal form of asbestos fibers contaminates some attic insulation, but researchers do not yet know whether normal use of these products could endanger consumers. Asbestos is a generic term used to describe a number of fibrous minerals including actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite and tremolite.

Organic matter plays a similar role in soil, but vermiculite , mineral by nature, is sterile and inert, thus protecting the seedlings against a fungus that causes sudden collapse — damping-off — and other ills.

Vermiculite: a review of the mineralogy and health effects of vermiculite exploitation

If you are standing in the gardening center, trying to figure out which additive your soil needs the most, wondering what the difference is between perlite and vermiculite, then this article is for you. The two additives are similar, but they are distinctly different in a few important ways. Read on to learn more about these two all-natural soil amendments that gardeners use to change the water retention and nutrient retention levels in their garden soil. Perlite is made from volcanic rock, which is heated and crushed until it explodes in order to transform the rock into small white pieces.It has medium water retention ratings and low nutrient retention ratings. It is added to soil mixes in order to improve the drainage capability of both soil-based and soilless potting mixes.

Vermiculite

A reader recently asked me whether it was true that vermiculite contains asbestos and therefore should be avoided. It just goes to show that horticultural myths have an extended life, as this one was debunked ages ago and I thought it was long dead. Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral composed of shiny flakes resembling mica. Vermiculite itself is not a health hazard. Back in the mid-twentieth century, much of the vermiculite produced in North America was taken from the Libby Mine in Montana. Sold under the trade name Zonolite, this vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos fibers, as the two are naturally copresent in the same rock formation, although this went unrecognized for some 60 years. From about to , Zonolite was widely used in the construction industry throughout North America, notably as attic insulation. It was also employed, to a lesser extent, in horticulture.

area with asbestos-contaminated vermiculite a growing concern that asbestos exposure and the use of vermiculite in gardening activities.

I use/used vermiculite to enhance my potting soil. Should I be concerned?

Vermiculite is a mica-type mineral that is being used in increasing quantities for insulation, in composite cements, and in horticulture. No serious health risks have been found resulting from the exposure to vermiculite alone nor are any anticipated in view of its long-term chemical durability, even with respect to fibers of vermiculite. Vermiculite ores may contain a variety of other minerals including asbestos, which, if present in significant quantities, could pose a health risk to producers and end users.

Commercial Vermiculite Handlers May Be At Risk For Asbestos-Related Disease

RELATED VIDEO: What Is Vermiculite?

That attic, like hundreds of thousands in Michigan, contains asbestos-tainted vermiculite insulation, shipped for decades from a mine in Montana to Michigan. At several factories in Michigan, including one in Dearborn that closed in , vermiculite ore was processed into products including insulation sold under the brand name Zonolite, fireproofing material, and even the vermiculite used in potting soil mix and other gardening uses. A federal investigation is under way to determine whether people who worked at the factories, and others who were exposed to the products, are at risk. For years afterward, he and friends would spend time in the attic listening to records and horsing around. Now he has asbestosis, a scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure.

Whilst recently shopping in a well known Australian supermarket I came across kitty litter.

Dallas Home to Asbestos Contaminated Horticultural Vermiculite Plant for Decades

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When the Libby Mine in Montana began production of vermiculite ore in the s, the mineral was becoming well known for its fire-resistant and insulation qualities. The Libby Mine supplied the majority of the world market with vermiculite-based insulation, and sold it in Canada as Zonolite Attic Insulation, and possibly other brand names, untilToday, vermiculite from the Libby Mine is known for a far less-desirable trait: it may contain asbestos, a known respiratory hazard and cancer-causing substance. For this reason it has not been widely used since the mids, and has been off the market in Canada for the past 10 years.


Watch the video: The advanced vermicomposting facility VERMIC - worm composting (August 2022).