General Discussion:

Allergies - potting soil or plant?

Messages posted to thread:

Ruth09-Jun-01 08:37 AM EST 5b   
Marie09-Jun-01 09:20 PM EST   
Arne10-Jun-01 12:28 AM EST 8   
Ruth10-Jun-01 09:32 AM EST 5b   

Subject: Allergies - potting soil or plant?
From: Ruth
Zone: 5b
Date: 09-Jun-01 08:37 AM EST

It's been happening for five years now, and began about my 70th year: during planting season my face puffs up and the soft tissue around the eyes becomes so swollen I can barely see. My hands USED to swell after I'd transplanted or processed certain members of the nightshade family (peppers, eggplant, tomato, etc) before I discovered disposable vinyl gloves. I was SO VERY careful this year, but it's happening again... and I'm wondering if something in the commercial potting soil I used for our porch and deck planters might be the culprit. I was bent over a bag of the stuff for most of an afternoon and next morning could barely see. I abhor anti-histamines. They make me groggy and put a real crimp into our planting schedule. Does anybody out there have any information?

Subject: RE: Allergies - potting soil or plant?
From: Marie
Date: 09-Jun-01 09:20 PM EST

Ruth, Many of the new antihistamines do not have the side effect of grogginess. Talk to your pharmacist about them. They really help me.

Subject: RE: Allergies - potting soil or plant?
From: Arne
Zone: 8
Date: 10-Jun-01 12:28 AM EST

Ruth: what kind of potting soil was it you are using? Some soilless mixes contain a polymer for water retention and some contain a wetting agent to aid in watering dry mixes. Also some contain pine bark or some other form of bark so I would look to those as the culprit. See a Dr. and get alergy tests done would be my advice.

Subject: RE: Allergies - potting soil or plant?
From: Ruth
Zone: 5b
Date: 10-Jun-01 09:32 AM EST

Thanks, Marie - and I agree. However, although the new, improved antihistamines our local pharmacist recommended don't make me as groggy, they don't help much either! Arne - re the contents of the potting soil, I wish I KNEW! A few years ago I used to order "Pro-mix" by the bale, and found it most reliable. But we don't garden on that scale any more, so I purchased a dozen bags of soil from Home Hardware packaged in bags small enough that we can manage them. Unfortunately, the bags do not list list the contents. As for allergy tests... I'm not sure there's a specialist here on PEI, but if I can't track this thing down myself I'll check it out. Thanks for your help! RRJ

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