[Market-farming] asbestos in vermiculite

Leigh Hauter lh at pressroom.com
Mon Feb 2 14:00:19 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

I think a solution is probably to start buying my mix from the woman 
over in the next county who has a soil mixing operation. She uses 
sand.  The reason why the large commercial mixes, I believe, use 
vermiculite or perlite is the weight.  it costs a lot more to ship a 
mix containing sand then it does one containing perlite.

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