shagnum moss

garyfla_gw(10 Florida)July 21, 2014

has anyone heard of getting a respitory disease handling this media?? has come up several times on other forums but could find no reference to it?? Suppoedly there were several fatal cases?? Could not not find a mention on CDC site?? . I've handled it for well over 40 years and I think I'm still alive lol Since it is so commonly used in orchids thought this a good place to ask Thanks gary

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allymarie(zone 10, So. Fl.)

I've heard many years ago of sphagnum moss being a carrier of a fungus or bacteria that can get into the body from scratches and cuts on the skin.It gets into the lymph system and cause infection.Gloves should be worn when dealing with sphagnum because of this.There is usually a warning written on some packages of sphagnum moss.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:20PM
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Gary, my experience is the same as yours, unless we're both dead and haven't realised it. I read somewhere that it had antibiotic properties which is why I use it to sprout palm seeds. As you know, they can take a very long time to sprout and the sphagnum doesn't go mouldy in the meantime. My current pack of sphagnum has this cautionary warning on it;

"Sphagnum Moss is a natural product and may contain prickles. Be careful when handling."

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 6:51PM
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Heard the same. I rarely wear gloves but do try not to breathe in the dust from sphag or perlite. I've yet to suffer the consequences.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 7:23PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Interesting that the fatal story only comes up in Bonsai forum i have always used sphag extensively for that purpose and not so much for orchids . have heard the story from 3 different sources. Only reference I could find on the CDC site is " Sporotricosis " often called "Rose keepers disease" as the bacteria MUST get under the skin to become infectious,rarely infects the lungs but there have been fatalities but death was attributed to secondary infections ,compronised immune system , pneumonia. tuberculosis couldn't find a single death EVER from sporotrichosis Even under the catagory of "occupational disease"
Cautions were limited to "Gloves and avoid breathing dust" Odd that so many people know it's dangerous yet the CDC does not ?? lol Oh well , can't argue with "urban knowledge ?? lol Thanks gary

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:53AM
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