Skin irritation from mulch

Updated November 21, 2016

Whether purchased in a bag or by truckload, dry or moist, any mulch composite can harbour dust and mould spores, which can cause skin irritation problems, according to


Some of the most common allergy spores, or mould, found outdoors can be found in higher levels with cutting grass, spreading mulch, and in areas with field crops such as grains, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma Immunology. Symptoms include itching and redness on contact with skin.


Sometimes the bark or wood chips from certain trees, such as cedar, pine and pecan, will trigger a rash on the area of contact. A rash is a change of the skin colour, appearance or texture.


When purchasing and handling any composted material, it should be managed carefully by wearing a pair of rubber gloves, mask, long-sleeve shirt and long trousers to prevent unnecessary itching and rash reactions. An ideal substitute is gravel or landscape rocks.

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