Compost Health Hazards

Garden Safety Mask

About Compost Health Hazards

As gardeners, we think about compost as a valuable organic garden soil conditioner, mulch, and fertilizer. We also need to be aware of the health hazards that can lurk in your compost pile. That’s because garden compost contains harmful compost bacteria and allergens. Gardeners who are not in the best of general health, have a low functioning immune system, and people who suffer from asthma, allergies, and other lung diseases are especially at risk. Gardeners in good general health can be at risk, too.

A compost pile contains lots of fungus, molds, mildew, bacteria, and often pollens.

The most common problems are allergies, breathing problems, infections, and rashes. Tetanus is a dangerous bacteria, that is common in soil. Infections can easily occur through a cut on your hand.

Therefore it is wise to protect yourself when handling compost.

Protecting Yourself from Compost Hazards

Here are some simple things you should do to protect yourself from compost health hazards:

  • Use dust masks. Those same masks that protect you from COVID-19 are effective protection in the garden.

  • Use gloves when handling compost.  In addition, to protecting you from harmful compost bacteria and disease, it helps to avoid scratches and cuts where bacteria can enter.

  • Make sure your Tetanus shots are up to date.

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