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Dangers in your compost

Did any of you see the item in this mornings papers regarding the finding of Legionella bugs in bags of commercial compost - the University of Strathclyde tested 22 brands, and found evidence of the bug in 14. Apparently five gardeners have been infected since August.

Advice is that when handling bags of compost you should wear gloves, and avoid breathing in the dust - suggestion is that you moisten the compost first.

Whilst we shouldn't panic, all gardeners should be aware of the potential dangers of handling compost and manure, especially with bare hands - the risk of blood poisoning is ever-present if you have an open injury on your exposed body.




  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Been wearing gloves when gardening since Adam was a lad. Whilst compost may contain all sorts of nastie's and can be good for the garden it does nothing for your nails.

    Like secatars, having a selection of gloves is a priority, chipped nail's is the last thing you want after a day in the garden following a manicureimage.

    I don't want to make light of your posting but if suppliers of compost are selling stuff which is harmful then rather than including a government health warning shouldn't the suppliers be challenged instead of the purchaser!   


  • PentilliePentillie Posts: 411

    ........Very good point about perlite, Verdun!

  • aAcouple of months ago, handling compost with gloves on, I was bitten by something on my wrist. Naturally I scratched the area without thinking, effectively rubbing compost into the broken skin and by the next morning by hand was like five fat cumberland sausages attached to a haggis. And then it got bigger and bigger and a few hours later I was in A & E having intravenous antibiotics. Just a nasty case of cellulitis and I suppose any dirt getting into the subcutaneous level of your skin could do it but the fact it was compost has definitely made me more aware and careful.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    A manicure!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,574

    I think that there is a good case for all compost to be sterilized before we buy it.

  • i thought it was sterilized fidget????

    so then gardeners world are now going to start wearing gloves and highlight this risk to those are not so knowledgable about composts etc?

    i always wear gloves and dig my fingernails into soap before hand to stop dirt.. i keep my compost in big old black dustbin.. ao it keeps moister anyway..

    but it is scary but then on other hand.. compost has been round long time and it would be nice if they told us what brand these people effected used..

    and yes verdun you are right.. many people dont wash their hands for the whole day.. i wsh mine regularly and make my kids also.. maybe that is why me never catch teh stomach bugs that go round the school all the time..


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,574

    Looking at what germinated out of some of the brands of compost this year, there is no way they were sterile. The recycled stuff had not got hot enough to kill weed seeds let alone pathogenic bacteria.

  • JIMMMYJIMMMY Posts: 241


    Was watching Dad's Army, Mr Godfrey said on it, a gentleman always wears "white gloves"!

    Only problem, my white gloves have rubber dimples on the palms and fingers!


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