The title of this blog might surprise some people, after all, isn’t composting a really good thing to do, especially for the environment? While there are many advantages to composting such as being environmentally friendly and good for the soil, the risks appear if we do not handle it properly. What do we mean by this?
To understand better, it’s a good idea to think about what compost is actually made up of. Rotting food and plants in varying stages of decay can produce a number of unsafe pathogens. If compost is not handled correctly, a person could be affected by these pathogens.
Let’s consider some of these pathogens and see why they are dangerous.
A variety of fungal conditions can result from compost. Being exposed to them as well as other bacterial pathogens can cause different ailments. One of those is known as Farmers Lung and can produce symptoms similar to pneumonia. Another condition called Aspergillosis can develop from the inhalation of spores which are produced by decaying plants.
Another fungus which is found in compost is Histoplasmosis. This type of fungus develops from the feces of birds and bats.
Other diseases that could potentially arise from exposure to compost are Tetanus, Paronychia (an infection which can develop around toenails and fingers) and also Legionnaires Disease.
Although these sound like very worrying ailments, taking the proper precautions while dealing with compost should prevent these from happening.
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector