Risks in the Garden

Friday, 26 February 2021  |  HOTBIN Composting

Gardening Health Risks

Gardening can be relaxing and even therapeutic for some, but both gardening and composting do not come without their own risks. Although we cannot eliminate these risks altogether, we can minimise them by taking precautions when working in the garden;

  • Wear gloves whenever in the garden especially when handling soil, compost, potentially harmful plants, fertiliser or pesticides.
  • In addition to gloves, keep arms covered when pruning plants that could cause irritations; e.g. Ivy, Euphorbia or Rue.
  • If you suffer from asthma, related respiratory conditions or compromised immune system, take specific precautions to avoid inhalation of dusts consider wearing a dust mask when handling compost, turning compost heaps and handling potting media or other dusty materials.
  • Keep any cuts/grazes or damaged skin covered.
  • Always wash your hands after composting or gardening and especially before eating.
  • Keep a hand sterilising gel handy if clean water is not available, this can be very handy on allotments.

Composting is a natural process involving bacteria and fungi which can be carried out in a safe manner as it has done for thousands of years,

Hot composting is named due to the temperatures it can reach which could also be a risk, so we always recommend:

  • Wearing gloves and do not immerse hands in the active layer at the top of the HOTBIN. Always use the raking stick, not your hands to mix up the new waste, paper and bulking agent you are adding.

If you are concerned about the temperatures HOTBIN can reach, 60°C is the temperature of very hot tap water and the HOTBIN can get hotter than this, bacteria will stop working at approximately 72°c as they become too hot, therefore the internal temperature of the HOTBIN will not go much above this. You can read more about how hot will HOTBIN get here.