Can Composting Make You Sick?

compost ingredient tips

Question: Can composting make you sick? What should I avoid adding to my compost bin? Can I put raw eggs in my compost? -Heidi R.

Answer: Though any serious health issues that could arise from composting can be avoided by practicing a handful of simple, common sense measures to minimize risks, there are sometimes fungal spores present in compost that can present health problems.

For young children, the elderly, pets, and those with compromised immune systems, the consequences of breathing in certain fungal spores can be a serious health risk, and can even lead to death. A widely-covered news story from 2008 reveals that a man in the UK died from complications resulting from breathing in Aspergillus fungal spores from a leaf mulch pile.

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