It is a myth that vermiculite has asbestos in it.
Decades ago ONE part of ONE mine in Montana where they were also mining mica (vermiculite is ground & heated mica) had asbestos in it, but NOT in the section where the mica was being mined.
This comes up in the media and gardening sites periodically and a applaud you for being cautious. The "good" thing about this scare, ALL vermiculite in the US is tested to make sure it is asbestos free.
When I make my growing medium I DO wear a dust mask because I don't want small particles of ANYTHING getting into my lungs. We always mist the vermiculite & peat to knock as much dust down as possible as both of these produce very fine particles.
I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.
Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
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