View Full Version : Is Vermiculite safe for growing wheatgrass?
10-28-2008, 08:25 PM
I've been reading information on growing wheatgrass and it was suggested that either a sterile composted cow manure, regular sterile soil or vermiculite can be used to grow wheatgrass. The people at my local garden store looked at me as if I were an alien when I asked for sterile composted cow manure. I was told all they sell is regular cow manure. No knowledge of any sterile soils. So that leaves Vermiculite. However, I seem to remember there was som type of health problems associated with the use of vermiculite? Does anyone use it to grow wheatgrass?
Lady Green Jeans
10-28-2008, 09:43 PM
A good organic soil blend is excellent. Have never used vermiculite, so sorry can't help.
10-28-2008, 09:57 PM
Vermiculite is ground volcanic rock. I don't think there are any health problems. It could be contaminated with asbestos, but then so could any natural material (sand, clay, etc.)
Vermiculite and Health Aspects Associated with Potential Contaminants
Vermiculite is a naturally occurring, mica-type mineral that has been used beneficially in numerous industrial applications since the late 1940's. It has been demonstrated as being safe to use, and no serious health risks have been found resulting from exposure to vermiculite.
Vermiculite and other ore bodies can contain a variety of associated minerals such as mica, quartz, feldspar, etc. The associated minerals are unique to a particular deposit and, in some cases, may include minerals which could pose a health risk if present in significant quantities. In most countries, manufacturers are required to publish and make available Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). These sheets will typically identify any hazards associated with the material and also provide information on safe handling and proper disposal.
Asbestos fibres are a potential risk to health, and in the past there has been some vermiculites contaminated with trace amounts of asbestiform material. Vermiculite ore bodies currently in use by the major producers, do not pose a health risk when used in accordance with the manufacturer's MSDS. However, there are numerous sources of commercial vermiculite available in the world today and it is important for the end user to understand test data from a particular manufacturer.
Such testing should take into account both mineralogical and morphological differences between asbestos and non-asbestos varieties of the same amphibole or serpentine mineral.
Finally, it is important to note that the issue of potential for fibrous asbestos contamination exists for a wide range of naturally occurring materials. Included in this list are materials such as sand, clay, and gypsum. Due to this, and other studies referencing background levels of asbestos in the environment, it is inappropriate to state that any naturally occurring material is asbestos free. Any reference to trace asbestos levels must include (as a minimum): analysis technique, detection limit, and definition of asbestos used in the study.
10-28-2008, 10:33 PM
Thank you for the help. Organic products are not very popular in my area. There isn't any organic soil products and I think shipping cost for soil might be too expensive.I was going to try growing the wheatgrass indoors since I don't have a patio. No place that I could keep it away from pets, birds or pest outdoors. Sounds like Vermiculite might be better used outdoors. Just a slight chance of asbestos but we have a family member that has some asbestos releated health problems. So I think should avoid it. I also saw some type of soil free growing "blanket."
I just noticed that there is a Sprouting section here. Sorry:o Would one of th moderators please move both of my post here? This one and the one concerning the Sproutmaster.
Thanks again for the help.
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