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Posted by Brian Macker on December 24, 2002 at 11:46:21:
In Reply to: I must have a strong imune system! more posted by Mike Stefani on December 22, 2002 at 12:10:21:
I don't really know much about it except that I had seen warnings on the bags of peat moss I use when gardening. The problem is a disease that is in some peat. It needs a cut or some other way to enter the body. I have used peat alot with plenty of cuts and have never had a problem but I wasn't living in it. Snakes do get cuts sometimes in their tanks and I don't know if continouse exposure might be a problem. To be honest I am not sure it would be a problem or not.
I have used peat moss in fish tanks with tetras in order to make the water acidic with no problems. In fact I had a half terrarium/aquarium that was filled with carnivorous plants and peat on one side. There was a plexiglas separator but the water could and did flow both ways. Had a tetra survive in that tank for a good two years.
What you described about breathing it in sounds like an allergic reaction.
The stuff that is really bad for your respiration is cedar mulch. I was using that stuff for planting mountain laurel and it really does a job on you. I had made a big pile that was a mixture of cedar mulch, sand, peat moss, and top soil. I mixed it with a pitch fork out in the open and still managed to breath it in. I think when I was transporting it in the car it got me. Anyway I had a sore throat for a week. I didn't make the connection until something like the third weekend of doing this.
I didn't use it all and the funny thing is all the turkeys on my property are using the pile as a dust bath. I guess that cedar repels ticks and lice. I have heard that cedar is no good for use in herp tanks and I believe it.
:That is great information, Kind of strange though! I have been using sphanum moss for many years, never had a problem besides the slight irritation to the back of my throat while mixing from dry to wet.
:P.S. I do not use sphagnum moss in any application for Garter snake husbandry.