Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2000
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Master Gardeners and the Los Angeles County Fair
Got a garden question? Come down to the LA County Fair's Flower and Garden Pavilion on Saturdays, September 9th, 16th, and 30th from 11am to 7pm. The University of California's Los Angeles County Master Gardeners will be there to talk gardening and give information about volunteer programs, such as those that help low-income residents grow their own vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Call 909-623-3111 for a schedule of events and more information.

Local Buzz

Asbestos in Vermiculite Update
Even though a recent study from the University of Minnesota found that one of the major source mines of vermiculite (an ingredient in many potting soils) is naturally contaminated with asbestos, the EPA has tested many of the vermiculite products on the market and found that asbestos levels pose no health risk to gardeners. Generally, you must be exposed to airborne asbestos fibers for 10 years or more before the exposure affects your health.



However, to be safe, work with vermiculite outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, keep the substance moist, wear a mask when working with dusty potting soil, and avoid bringing the dust into your home on clothing. Working with potting soils that contain some vermiculite in their mix is much safer than working with the pure product. For more on this issue, check out the following web site, http://ens.lycos.com/e%2Dwire/aug00/22aug0003.html.



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