Love your gardening but be aware of the hidden dangers!

by Glenn Roberts
(Brisbane Australia)

I wanted to share a very important story with you all, and I hope it can shed some light on the hidden dangers of using soils, mainly bagged composted potting soils.
I love my container planting and it serves me well, and I just love bringing plentiful bounties to the table.
I changed my large greenhouse around this year, purchasing ten recycled 70 litre containers. As I didn't have the amount of soil needed to fill them from my compost bin, I purchased ten high grade quality potting bags of soil. The bags contained 65 litres of soil, which was perfect for the job. I'm not going into brand names as I feel there is nothing gained by doing so.
I was very egger to get my containers filled with the soil, so with much effort not trying to lift the heavy bags of soil, I filled up my containers at a much slower rate as I have recently had open heart surgery.
The next bit of the story is quiet alarming. After a few days of filling up my new containers inside my greenhouse, I became feeling very ill. It started with the worst sore throat I've ever had, really bad headaches, sore muscles, and a really bad stiff neck.
I had a very high fever and coupled up with the pain from heart surgery only weeks ago, I was thinking,
"Beam Me Up Scotty." Give me a magic pill!
My wife bundled me in the car and took me up to the local doctors clinic. When the doctor looked at me, she saw that I was coughing uncontrollably. She asked my wife, had I travelled overseas recently, and I hadn't. She asked my wife what I had been doing in the last week, my wife replied, he's only been filling up his containers with soil. I was lucky that the lights went on in the doctors head, and she put it together very quickly, that I had most likely inhaled some spores from the bagged potting mix and I had developed “Legionnaire's disease”. She said I was presenting all the classic symptoms, so she prescribed a certain type of anti-biotic, and seven days later I’m still around to tell the story.
The medication quickly got me well again and I am back recovering again from my surgery. “Yippee”
I’m counting my blessings that I came across a very good doctor, this could have been easily missed and I would have died and now planting daisies somewhere.
You hear people dying from unnamed viruses all the time, and I’m now thinking it might have been avoided?
The bottom line is here, that if you love your gardening take some insurances when you work with composted soils.
I’m sure your garden will still be around ten years from now, you just need to take some inexpensive moves to insure you are too?
Happy Gardening to all, and Take Care.

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