Caution: Inhaling Diatomaceous Earth hazards

by Anonymous

People need to be very careful that they and their pets don't inhale it.

I would not recommend it for a dust bath or in the litter box because the chance of it getting in their lungs is great.

It can really harm the lungs if inhaled. Otherwise great stuff.

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Feb 15, 2013
How To Use Diatomaceous Earth Safely
by: Pauly

Thank you Anonymous,

Yes Diatomaceous Earth food grade is a very fine dust like that of baking flour only much harder in a crystal form.

If inhaled too much or for long periods of time the tiny crystals can become lodged within the walls of the lungs causing irritation and also a restriction of oxygen to the body.

This was also deemed a disease known as...wait for it...wait for it

Whew! But you can just call it "silicosis" for short.

This is why I have recommended (on my DE pages) that you use caution when applying the Diatomaceous Earth powder to plants, animals, insects, and you.

Our anonymous visitor brings up a great point that I would like to reemphasize. Like anything in life, you must know your limitation and what is safe or not safe for you.

I personally do not have a problem with the dust and have used it for years, but some do have sensitive lungs and therefore would warrant some kind of mask or other approach for applying it.

If you have any doubt then please use a 3M mask or painters mask and do not apply on a windy day.

You can also apply it in a wet application to your plants, such as in a sprayer. When it drys it will leave the DE residue behind for it to do its work.

Thanks again anonymous for the great tip,

P.S. As for the pets, It's always best to err on the side of caution and if anyone has any great tips on the way they use it please join in.

Aug 29, 2018
Danger to lungs after wet application? NEW
by: Dirtnut

Can the DE be stirred up after a wet application dries and become a breathing hazard to kids or pets?

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