Saturday, April 12, 2008

Those Evil Trashy Fungal Balls

German scientists are warning householders of the health dangers posed by storing organic waste, saying exposure to it, particularly to the moulds that develop as the material decays, can cause skin problems and even breathing difficulties.
Harald Morr, a leading pneumologist, who is also chairman of the German Lung Foundation, said studies showed that airborne mould spores from organic waste could lead to allergic reactions, asthma attacks, hayfever-like symptoms and itchy skin lesions.
Christian Witt, a professor at the clinic of infectology and pneumology at Charitié hospital in Berlin, said that while healthy people with a strong immune system were less at risk when breathing in fungi and bacteria from decaying matter, transplant patients, people undergoing chemotherapy and those prone to bronchial infections should avoid proximity to rubbish bins altogether. "People with weakened immune systems should avoid contact with mouldy rubbish," he said.
Regine Szewzyk, a microbiologist at Berlin's environmental agency, said: "Basically it should be left to healthy people to take the rubbish out."(read more in Guardian)

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