News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Potting mix can pose risk to human health



EPA Alert: potting mix can pose risk to human health

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is alerting consumers to the risks of using pot mix after the tragic passing of a Christchurch gardener from Legionnaires’ disease (legionellosis).
Ms Lizzie Wilson, spokesperson for the EPA Safer Homes Programme says: “Potting mix is a common gardening supply which is also sold as potting soil or potting compost.

“This tragic incident highlights the importance of using safety gear when using gardening products around the home, which in the case of potting mix should extend to wearing gloves and face protection.

“We recommend people read and follow the product’s instructions and labels carefully, which may advise of further safety measures to minimise the risk to yourself or your family,” says Ms Wilson.

“While the EPA does not have a regulatory role in potting mix, through our Safer Homes Programme we take action to promote, maintain and enhance consumer safety when using risky substances around the home.”

“We also encourage retailers and manufacturers to review their existing labelling and signage and look for other ways to reinforce their safety messaging to the public.”

General gardening product safety information is available on the EPA’s website and a Safer and Healthier Gardening guide produced by the Ministry of Health is available through the HealthEd Portal.

Watch the EPA video about potting mix now.

EPA tips: take care while you garden
Before you get to work in the garden, check the back of all the products you plan to use to see what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.
• If you're working on plants that are for eating, check the label to see how long you need to wait before the plant or vegetable will be safe to eat. Write this down somewhere so you don’t forget.
• Wear gloves, and check the label to see if you need other protection like a face mask or safety glasses.
• Keep products away from your eyes and face, and off your skin.
• Choose a calm day. Wind can blow products into your eyes and face, or onto other people.
• Be very careful if you are working near streams or other water. Many garden products should not be used near water. Never pour leftover products down stormwater drains.
• Ask your local your garden centre for advice and always read labels before you buy and use. Do not buy or use products that don’t have labels.
You should remember:
• to seek advice to select the safest and most effective product for the job. You can make your home and garden safer by choosing products that are as gentle as possible. The staff at the store where you buy your products may be able to help with this.
• that ‘natural’, ‘organic’, and ‘environmentally friendly’ products can still be hazardous.
• that you should always keep gardening products in their original packages or containers.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Bach And Ellington

The NZSO’s Shed Series returned for 2019 with the aptly titled REBIRTH at Shed 6 on Friday 8th. This theme dealt with the way in which music constantly evolves and changes, with styles and musical periods reborn in completely new and different ways. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Voulez-Vous Couchez Avec Moi? - C'est Chic, Ça Colette!

Starring the ravishingly vibrant Keira Knightley in the title role, Colette is a fairly pedestrian paint-by numbers biopic - which is a little disappointing, given that its cross-dressing and pansexual protagonist lead anything but a dull life. More>>

Wellington Repertory Theatre: New Season Includes Royal Hunt of The Sun

“The objective behind our ambitious 2019 season is to expand our offering to a broader range of Wellingtonians. It’s the first time in over a decade that we’ve produced four shows, and the first time we will be performing at the Hannah Payhouse,” says Oliver Mander, WRT’s President. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Revenants - They Shall Not Grow Old

Jackson has toiled laboriously in the trenches of the digital revolution for decades, with his two turgid Tolkien trilogies constantly pushing the envelope in terms of computer-generated entertainment and providing his latest project with sufficient combat experience to warrant serious Oscar consideration for its remarkable technical achievements. More>>

Unseen Let It Be Footage: Peter Jackson Making "The Ultimate Beatles Film"

Jackson's new film will be compiled from fifty-five hours of never-released studio footage of The Beatles recording their final album Let It Be in January 1969. More>>

NZCT Grants More Than $150,000 to Community Sports

NZCT has approved grants to the Tauranga Boxing Academy, provided a new lease of life to old yachts, benefitted sports at Tiniroto School, and helped to upgrade Christchurch City BMX Club track. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland