Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cornmeal anti-fungal?

I just heard on public radio that cornmeal is used successfully as a fungus/mildew suppressor. The person who called with the tip said he sprinkled the cornmeal around the rose bushes and worked it into the ground. Previously he was plagued by black rot on the rose leaves but not since he used the cornmeal treatment.

He also used cornmeal to treat toenail fungus by making a slurry with the cornmeal and hot water, soaking his feet for as long as possible about an hour or so. He didn't say how many times a week he used the soak. Vicks Vaporub is also supposed to be a successful treatment for toenail fungus and a much easier to use remedy. Since I'm on the topic of home remedies, a bar of soap under the bed sheet is purported to relieve leg or toe cramps. My wife plagued by toe cramps tried it and hasn't had a recurrence. Could be the placebo effect but if it works... The soap under the sheet is also supposedly good for restless leg syndrome.

I'll try the cornmeal treatment with our roses, apple trees, dogwoods and magnolias blighted by mildew and let you know how this works along with the spraying of skim milk that girlgonegardening suggested.

Friday, April 01, 2005

EPA drops the ball-vermiculite and asbestos

According to another article in The Times of Trenton newspaper, the EPA did a study of asbestos contamination in the surrounding neighborhoods near vermiculite processing plants in 1985. The conclusion was that "55 workers and as many as 92,000 residents in the surrounding community were at risk of asbestos exposure". Further, in a worst case scenario more than 74 million consumers (mainly loose fill vermiculite attic insulation but also garden supplies) and 13 million people living near the processing plants could have been exposed to the flying asbestos.

But the EPA failed to make this report public and warn the workers within the plants or the residents living around the plants! Only at this late date 2005 after studies done in 1980, 1985, 1991 and 2001, all pointing to adverse health risks posed by tremolite contaminated vermiculite, has the EPA finally made these reports known to the people affected in and near the processing plant near Trenton. But what about the general public who were exposed through attic insulation and gardening supplies? I don't think this is common knowledge in the U.S. and I only found out about it by reading the news articles.

I was watering some primroses the other day and noticed a fleck of vemiculite glinting in the potting soil so apparently vermiculite is still available and used in the gardening industry. I'm hoping that this is from a uncontaminated source of mica ore but how can I really be sure? A nasty state of affairs.
My Photo
Location: Zone 6, New Jersey, United States

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Carnival-small Blogroll Me!

Listed on Blogwise

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Gardening  Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory