[Market-farming] asbestos in vermiculite

dave.kathy at att.net dave.kathy at att.net
Mon Feb 2 13:42:48 EST 2004

>Apparently the mineral
>deposits that they use for making vermiculite naturally contain the mineral
>asbestos.  The airborne small particles are the worst form of asbestos, as
>compared to an encapsulated form. 

Also (wearing my geologist's hat for just a bit) the word "asbestos" covers 
several different minerals, some dangerous, some more benign. The ones that 
cause cancer and silicosis, I believe, have fibers shaped like needles that 
stick in your lungs.  Other "asbestos" minerals may be more platy, like 
vermiculite also is. You can look at your vermiculite with a X10 hand lens, 
or even your bare eyes, and see whether there are needles in it.  If not, you 
are probably okay.  Of course, speaking legalistically, that may not release 
you from liability for your greenhouse workers, but at least it may help set 
your mind more at ease!

Dave Campbell 
Tiffin IA

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