Gardeners warned potting mix link to disease

GREEN thumbs gearing up for a spot of autumn gardening have been urged to take extra care while handling potting mix.

A bacteria often found in potting mix can cause the lung infection Legionnaires’ disease if dust is inhaled from contaminated soil.
Last year in NSW, there were 81 cases of Legionnaires’ disease from the type of bacteria that can be found in potting mix.
NSW Health executive director health protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, said gardeners could protect themselves by donning a special P2 mask and gardening gloves, while handling potting mix.
“Wetting the potting mix first also helps prevent potting mix dust blowing up and being inhaled,” he said.