We know that pillows are inhabited by the house dustmite which thrives in the dark, moist environment of filled bedding. But alongside house dustmites, research from the University of Manchester study has identified a species of fungal spore, invisible to the naked eye but “most commonly found” on pillows. This species, Aspergillus fumigatus, 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.
The study found that Aspergillus fumigatus, is “most likely to cause disease”. The resulting condition - 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 has become the leading infectious cause of death in leukaemia and bone marrow transplant patients.
The researchers continued: “Constant exposure to fungus in bed could be problematic. It can trigger asthma in children, worsen asthma in adults and cause allergic sinusitis. 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 lungs, as well as causing a range of plant and animal diseases.”
So how can we counteract the development of mould spores in our pillows?
In between boil-washes, spritz your pillows with HomeCleanse anti-allergy spray.