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Pillows - a hot bed of fungal spores
University of Manchester ^ | 10/14/05

Posted on 10/17/2005 3:26:05 PM PDT by LibWhacker

Researchers at The University of Manchester funded by the Fungal Research Trust have discovered millions of fungal spores right under our noses - in our pillows.

Aspergillus fumigatus, the species most commonly found in the pillows, is most likely to cause disease; and the resulting condition Aspergillosis has become the leading infectious cause of death in leukaemia and bone marrow transplant patients. Fungi also exacerbate asthma in adults.

The researchers dissected both feather and synthetic samples and identified several thousand spores of fungus per gram of used pillow - more than a million spores per pillow.

Fungal contamination of bedding was first studied in 1936, but there have been no reports in the last seventy years. For this new study, which was published online today in the scientific journal Allergy, the team studied samples from ten pillows with between 1.5 and 20 years of regular use.

Each pillow was found to contain a substantial fungal load, with four to 16 different species being identified per sample and even higher numbers found in synthetic pillows. The microscopic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus was particularly evident in synthetic pillows, and fungi as diverse as bread and vine moulds and those usually found on damp walls and in showers were also found.

Professor Ashley Woodcock who led the research said: "We know that pillows are inhabited by the house dust mite which eats fungi, and one theory is that the fungi are in turn using the house dust mites' faeces as a major source of nitrogen and nutrition (along with human skin scales). There could therefore be a 'miniature ecosystem' at work inside our pillows."

Aspergillus is a very common fungus, carried in the air as well as being found in cellars, household plant pots, compost, computers and ground pepper and spices.

Invasive Aspergillosis occurs mainly in the lungs and sinuses, although it can spread to other organs such as the brain, and is becoming increasingly common across other patient groups. It is very difficult to treat, and as many as 1 in 25 patients who die in modern European teaching hospitals have the disease.

Immuno-compromised patients such as transplantation, AIDS and steroid treatment patients are also frequently affected with life-threatening Aspergillus pneumonia and sinusitis. Fortunately, hospital pillows have plastic covers and so are unlikely to cause problems, but patients being discharged home - where pillows may be old and fungus-infected - could be at risk of infection.

Aspergillus can also worsen asthma, particularly in adults who have had asthma for many years, and cause allergic sinusitis in patients with allergic tendencies. Constant exposure to fungus in bed could be problematic. It can also get into the lung cavities created by tuberculosis which affects a third of the world's population, causing general ill-health and bleeding in the lung, as well as causing a range of plant and animal diseases.

Dr Geoffrey Scott, Chairman of the Fungal Research Trust which funded the study, said: "These new findings are potentially of major significance to people with allergic diseases of the lungs and damaged immune systems - especially those being sent home from hospital."

Professor Ashley Woodcock added: "Since patients spend a third of their life sleeping and breathing close to a potentially large and varied source of fungi, these findings certainly have important implications for patients with respiratory disease - especially asthma and sinusitis."


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: aspergillosis; aspergillus; asthma; contamination; disease; dust; fumigatus; fungal; fungi; fungus; getanewpillow; immunosuppression; leukaemia; mites; mold; pillows; pneumonia; respiratory; scales; sinusitis; skin; spores; tpl; transplant; tuberculosis
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1 posted on 10/17/2005 3:26:12 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: jwfiv

Between this and the toenail ads, I think I've lost my appetite for the week.


2 posted on 10/17/2005 3:28:43 PM PDT by Serb5150
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To: LibWhacker
Oh that's it . . .All new pillows tomorrow . . . .ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I read somewhere that after a year 1/2 the weight of a pillow is dustmites . . .

Another ewwwwwwwwwwww

3 posted on 10/17/2005 3:29:51 PM PDT by WIladyconservative (Save us from future Freepathons - set up a monthly donation!)
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To: LibWhacker
I wash and bleach my favorite pillow....
4 posted on 10/17/2005 3:30:02 PM PDT by marmar (435 CASF..Ramstein Germany.....Bringing the Wounded Warriors Home....)
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To: LibWhacker

I love my Aspergillus fumigatus. They taste good with olive oil.


5 posted on 10/17/2005 3:30:03 PM PDT by Gat˙n(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: LibWhacker

But they're my fungal spores!


6 posted on 10/17/2005 3:30:34 PM PDT by airborne (Al-Queda can recruit on college campuses but the US military can't!)
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To: LibWhacker


Gross.


7 posted on 10/17/2005 3:30:54 PM PDT by Fido969 ("And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).)
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To: Serb5150

That toenail ad IS disgusting isn't it??...lol


8 posted on 10/17/2005 3:31:33 PM PDT by moonpie57 (Fred Howell McMurray, Jr. The man on my POW bracelet.)
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To: LibWhacker

At least the fungus in my pillow is my fungus. No telling whose fungus is in hotel pillows.


9 posted on 10/17/2005 3:31:43 PM PDT by gondramB (Conservatism is a positive doctrine. Reactionaryism is a negative doctrine.)
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To: LibWhacker

Now how the heck am I going to get to sleep!?


10 posted on 10/17/2005 3:33:13 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: Serb5150

I got fungi growing in my pillows that eat those fungi for breakfast



and I am on good terms with them


11 posted on 10/17/2005 3:34:57 PM PDT by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
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To: Serb5150

Toenail ad?


12 posted on 10/17/2005 3:36:06 PM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: gondramB

re: hotel pillows - so true... man I hope I forget about this article before my next hotel stay


13 posted on 10/17/2005 3:36:37 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: LibWhacker
Professor Ashley Woodcock who led the research said: "We know that pillows are inhabited by the house dust mite which eats fungi...

Well at least it wasn't

CHEESE MITES!!!!

The scary thing is, they're there, you just can't see THEM!!!

14 posted on 10/17/2005 3:36:44 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: WIladyconservative

Nasty! I'm heading to the store tonight, my pillows have been around a while.LOL

Surely the pillow cases protect us from inhaling this crap...?


15 posted on 10/17/2005 3:36:52 PM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: marmar
I wash and bleach my favorite pillow....

and what happened then??

16 posted on 10/17/2005 3:36:57 PM PDT by evad ( PC KILLS-)
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To: LibWhacker

Thanks for that mental picture. Now I am going to have to lay awake all night worrying about this....

With a potential enemy ready to assault me from every direction.


17 posted on 10/17/2005 3:37:29 PM PDT by alloysteel ("Close-minded, dogmatic, doctrinaire." And those are my good qualities.)
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To: WIladyconservative
Lol, I think I'm gonna order all new pillows and Froogle up some of those plastic pillow covers the article talks about.
18 posted on 10/17/2005 3:37:58 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: alloysteel

Who in the world would keep the same pillow
for TWENTY YEARS!


19 posted on 10/17/2005 3:38:42 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: LibWhacker
I buy new pillows about once a year but think about hotels and motels. Sometimes it's not convenient to take your own pillow long on a trip, but I'm not going to stop traveling because of filthy pillows.
20 posted on 10/17/2005 3:39:00 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: tet68

The same people who keep mattresses for 20 years..


21 posted on 10/17/2005 3:40:04 PM PDT by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: LibWhacker
RE: James Bond

Is this anything like the secret formula monosodium glutomate??

22 posted on 10/17/2005 3:41:02 PM PDT by evad ( PC KILLS-)
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To: Texas_Jarhead

If our pillows are full of this crap, what's in our mattresses?


23 posted on 10/17/2005 3:41:16 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Ditter
I'm not going to stop traveling because of filthy pillows.

Oh NO??? Remember they aren't just filthy, they're

INFESTED !!!


24 posted on 10/17/2005 3:42:50 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: evad
In hot water and bleach. It's a squishy pillow so I wash out all the invaders........
25 posted on 10/17/2005 3:43:16 PM PDT by marmar (435 CASF..Ramstein Germany.....Bringing the Wounded Warriors Home....)
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To: LibWhacker

"We're All Gonna Die!!!!!!"


26 posted on 10/17/2005 3:43:41 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
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To: tet68

Still, I suppose you could get some of that stuff from
the drug store, you know where the label says,

APPLY LIBERALLY TO INFESTED AREA.

or should that be?

APPLY to LIBERAL INFESTED AREA?

How you you know?

Answer.......cause it's BLUE!


27 posted on 10/17/2005 3:45:33 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: diamond6

It's awful. This animated thing is running around someone's foot, then it lifts up the nail and hops into the bed. I feel like retching every time I see it.


28 posted on 10/17/2005 3:47:01 PM PDT by Serb5150 (Gdje ti mnogo obeŠavaju, malu torbu ponesi.)
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To: tet68
Yeah and I have asthma too. I have gone to Walmart and bought a pillow to use at a hotel a time or two. I have stuffed my coat in the pillow case once when there was no Walmart. I am still not staying home all the time. We are going to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks for the PBR Finals! Yee Haw!
29 posted on 10/17/2005 3:49:24 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: LibWhacker

King Vanity has a trach, suffers from lung spasms and asthema but NOT a history of infections in lungs or sinuses.

I change out his pillows daily do to his copious secretions and toss them in the washer w/bleach.

Perhaps in doing so along with my washing hands or wearing gloves and keeping his room wiped down with 10% bleach water has been the key to no infectious disease. Also change his bed pads 1-2 times daily and sheets every other day.

Yes I do ALOT of laundry.


30 posted on 10/17/2005 3:50:19 PM PDT by oceanperch (I love my Labradors Kolbe, Porter, Hunter and Yol)
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To: Texas_Jarhead

TJ, if we can find anyone growing truffles on their pillow we'll have it MADE!


31 posted on 10/17/2005 3:58:21 PM PDT by Texas WOP
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To: LibWhacker
Probably underwritten by the National Pillow Manufacturers Assn.

...looking to increase Christmas sales.

32 posted on 10/17/2005 3:59:11 PM PDT by theDentist (The Dems have put all their eggs in one basket-case: Howard "Belltower" Dean.)
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To: tet68
Who in the world would keep the same pillow for TWENTY YEARS!

I hate to admit this, but my nutso father still sleeps on the same down pillows he received as wedding presents over FORTY years ago.

33 posted on 10/17/2005 4:07:15 PM PDT by WIladyconservative (Save us from future Freepathons - set up a monthly donation!)
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To: Serb5150

damn.


I already will NOT go into a hotel room.


I need a giant body condom.


34 posted on 10/17/2005 4:08:16 PM PDT by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: glock rocks; Brad's Gramma

ping to the article


35 posted on 10/17/2005 4:08:32 PM PDT by B4Ranch (In 3 to 5 seconds check- employees immigration status - http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/SAVE.htm)
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To: Texas WOP

MORELS!


36 posted on 10/17/2005 4:08:42 PM PDT by WIladyconservative (Save us from future Freepathons - set up a monthly donation!)
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To: LibWhacker

Ha, did anyone notice that COMPUTERS are also identified as being welcoming environs for fungus?!?

That may well explain why there are so many people driven to madness or otherwise sickness on the internet.

WHERE are they IN the computers? Ha...I'm thinking the issue is probably more that fungus is ON computers, due to the welcoming plastics.

In which case, I use 409 on mine. Highly recommend it.


37 posted on 10/17/2005 4:10:13 PM PDT by BIRDS
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To: LibWhacker
Aspergillus is a very common fungus, carried in the air as well as being found in cellars, household plant pots, compost, computers and ground pepper and spices.

Pepper & spices? Sheesh. I have to replace all those too?

38 posted on 10/17/2005 4:16:59 PM PDT by cgk (Because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time & the task is yours to do.)
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To: LibWhacker
If our pillows are full of this crap, what's in our mattresses?

Hint- It ain't money.

;-)

39 posted on 10/17/2005 4:18:49 PM PDT by SIDENET ("Disco songs about killing political prisoners, looting and buying shoes! It can't miss.")
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To: Serb5150

TMI ... icky


40 posted on 10/17/2005 4:19:55 PM PDT by jwfiv
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To: Gat˙n(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
I love my Aspergillus fumigatus. They taste good with olive oil.

It's obviously closely related to broccoli. So I'd think a little lemon juice ought to go very well on it, too! :-)

41 posted on 10/17/2005 4:23:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: bannie

I'm an obsessive hand washer as it is. I really don't need to add to my already existing neuroses.


42 posted on 10/17/2005 4:24:22 PM PDT by Serb5150 (Gdje ti mnogo obeŠavaju, malu torbu ponesi.)
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To: oceanperch

It sounds like he's in very good hands, OP. God bless you.


43 posted on 10/17/2005 4:27:27 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

But plastic pillow covers are so tacky.


44 posted on 10/17/2005 4:31:43 PM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington (Washington State--Land of Court-approved Voting Fraud.)
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To: SouthernFreebird
Surely the pillow cases protect us from inhaling this crap...?

As if this article isn't gross enough, what's really nasty is when people get sick they're coughing and sneezing and then don't change their bedding after getting well. Bedding should be changed once a week no matter what, IMO.

It's a matter of hygiene.

45 posted on 10/17/2005 4:31:50 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: WIladyconservative

Right? Little Olive oil, seasoned bread crumbs, roasted garlic, three cheese bread, prosciutto, Genoa salami, a good red...Hey, I'm a wop. And Italian men know their way around the kitchen.


46 posted on 10/17/2005 4:33:14 PM PDT by Texas WOP
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To: gondramB
At least the fungus in my pillow is my fungus.

No telling whose fungus is in hotel pillows.

Ewww gross!

47 posted on 10/17/2005 4:42:28 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: PeoplesRepublicOfWashington
I hear 'ya. I hate the darn things. But what else are we to do? (Maybe I could go Japanese and learn to live with a wooden block for a pillow.) ;-)

Look on the right hand side of that Froogle link... In other words, at the sponsored links... One of the companies (NationalAllergySupply) sells tightly woven cloth pillow "encasings," that'll keep out dust mites. But to filter out one of the main fungal culprits, aspergillus fumigatus, I think you have to get the pore size down to a couple of microns. <*sigh*>

Plastic's tacky but I think I'm going to have to go to it soon, like it or not.

48 posted on 10/17/2005 4:50:19 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

They ain't kilt me yet, no way will I get all worried now!
45 years ago, some of the best sleep sessions I ever had was laying on a pile of half dried shrimp nets, I reckon that those nets were all loaded up with all kinds of germs, but the only things I ever suffered, was the mesh patterns on my ugly face! The damned germs never had a chance!
The cool thing about sleeping on a pile of nets is how easy it is, to figure out, how to scratch the spots that really drive you bonkers!
I am Republican, only because the Republican ideal is aimed at, and dedicated to, the preservation of my "inalienable" rights.
I sure would like to hear your reasons!
If "Republican" no longer equals "FREEDOM", I am damned sure out of here!


49 posted on 10/17/2005 4:59:13 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (LET ME DIE ON MY FEET IN MY SWAMP, ALEX KOZINSKI FOR SCOTUS)
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To: LibWhacker

Looks like sperm with wigs.


50 posted on 10/17/2005 5:11:08 PM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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