According to researchersyour pillows may be home for millions of fungal spores, .


The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, which is the species most commonly found in pillows, is also the most likely to cause disease. The resulting syndrome, aspergillosis, has become the leading infectious cause of death in leukemia patients. Fungi can also worsen asthma

A Million Spores Per Pillow.

Both feather and synthetic pillows were examined for a study, and thousand of spores of fungus per gram of used pillow were discovered -- well over a million spores per pillow. The pillows studied were ones that had between 1.5 and 20 years of regular use.

Four to sixteen different species were identified in each sample looked at, with higher numbers found in synthetic pillows. Bread and vine molds, as well as fungi usually found on damp walls and in showers were found in addition to the Aspergillus.

Difficult to Treat

Aspergillosis usually infects the lungs and sinuses, although it can spread to other organs such as the brain. It is very difficult to treat.Immuno-compromised patients can easily die of Aspergillus pneumonia or sinusitis.

Since Aspergillus can also worsen asthma and cause allergic sinusitis, constant exposure to fungus in bed could be problematic even for relatively healthy people.

University of Manchester October 14, 2005Allergy November 2005; 60 (11)

Dr. Mercola's Comment:A spore is structure of protein encapsulating bacterial DNA. It is formed by certain species of bacteria in conditions of low moisture, nutrients, temperature, etc.

They are metabolically inactive and are incredibly tough to destroy. Once a spore finds itself in a suitable environment (like your nose or throat), it can germinate into a single bacterium and attempt to multiply. They can cause many problems, including sinus trouble and dangerous infections.

So the answer is not to rush off and clean you pillows in your washing machineas hot, and even boiling water, will not kill spores.Spores require a temperature of about 121 degrees (Celsius) to be destroyed, and boiling water only reaches 100 degrees (Celsius).

Hospital supplies have to be autoclaved for 15 minutes to be sterilized. Basically, autoclaving involves superheated steam at high pressures to reach the required temperatures. Also, remember there are various levels of disinfectants. A cleaning agent doesn't kill spores unless it specifically says it's a sporicide, which is different from it being "antibacterial."

If you believe that spores are dangerous and you are determined to kill them bleach is a good sporicide. However thebleachsolution should be about 1:5, or at least 1:10 (You want a minimum of 2,500 ppm of chlorine in your solution, and normal household bleach is 5 percent available chlorine).

So the question becomes what is more toxic, inhaling toxic chlorine fumes are fungal spores?

This is a no win question, similar to do you prefer getting hit in the head with a hammer or a baseball bat.

Before you bathe all your household pillows in bleach, though, you might want to take a look at the list of contributors to the Fungal Research Trust, the "charitable organization" that funded the research covered in the article:

Fujisawa Corp., Oxford Glycosciences, F2G Ltd, Chronic Granulomatous Disorder Research Trust, Aventis, Janssen Research Foundation, Roche, Schering Plough Corporation, The Liposome Company, Merck, Imedex, Bristol Myers Squibb, Aronex Ltd, Vestar Inc, Eli Lilly, BioMerieux, Alza Corporation, Pfizer Inc, Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Phairson Ltd., GlaxoWellcome, The Gossett Trust, The Clear Group, British Medical Association, Basilea, Valeant and Orthobiotech.

Are the pharmaceutical companies funding this trust out of the kindness of their hearts, or is it a way of maximizing shareholder value?They want to frighten you so that you will purchase one of their expensive and toxic drug based solutions.

In the meantime rather than using toxic approaches, I believe there is a better solution. I recommend using a mechanicalbarrier and purchasing a high quality water, mold and spore proof pillow cover (not pillow case) that you can wash regularly (even with a bleach) to keep it clean. You can even purchase new pillows every year as they are relatively inexpensive.

This is the solution that I personally use and have found to be very effective. Call me obsessive but I even take my pillow cover with me when I travel and sleep in hotel rooms. Sure beats breathing in fungal spores and dust mites all night long.

Author's Bio: 

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