This is in contrast to Sphagnum moss, which can potentially harbour the chronic fungal disease, sporotrichosis. Sporotrichosis (also known as “Rose gardener’s disease”) is caused by the infection of the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. This fungal disease usually affects the skin, although other rare forms can affect the lungs, joints, bones, and even the brain. Because roses can spread the disease, it is one of a few diseases referred to as rose-thorn or rose-gardeners’ disease. Sporothrix schenckii spores enter the skin via abrasions, scratches, and small puncture wounds as a result of unprotected exposure to Sphagnum moss
Precautions need to be taken when handling Rockwool as it can be absorbed into the body by inhalation. It can also irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Prolonged exposure could lead to long term effects and it is considered a possible carcinogen to humans, similar to asbestos. This effect may depend upon the fibre diameter and length, chemical composition and persistence within the body.