GARDENERS have been warned that their habit could leave them at an increased risk of heart disease.
Medics found that pollutants in the soil could have a ‘detrimental effect on the cardiovascular system’.
The results of the analysis pushed experts to recommend that people wear a face mask, if they are in close contact with the soil.
Experts at the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany said pollution of air, water and soil is responsible for at least nine million deaths each year.
They highlighted that more than 60 per cent of pollution-related deaths are due to heart issues such as strokes, heart attacks, heart rhythm disorders and chronic ischaemic heart disease.
Writing in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology, the authors said soil pollutants include heavy metals, pesticides, and plastics.