EPA's investigation (http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/vermiculite.pdf) into these products indicates that consumers face only a minimal health risk from using vermiculite products at home or in their gardens.
To further reduce the risk associated with the occasional use of vermiculite products during gardening activities, EPA recommends that consumers:
- Use vermiculite outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
- Avoid creating dust by keeping vermiculite damp during use.
- Avoid bringing dust into the home on clothing.
Although EPA does not endorse the use of any particular product, consumers may choose to use:
- Premixed potting soils, which ordinarily contain more moisture and less vermiculite than pure vermiculite products and are less likely to generate dust.
- Soil amendment materials other than vermiculite, such as peat, sawdust, perlite, or bark.