Is it possible to get moldy?
Mold lives everywhere. Despite the fact that mold fungi successfully cope with the most unfavorable environmental factors, for most species, favorable conditions are required: increased humidity and temperature from + 20 to + 30 degrees.
Mold is growing not only on food, but also on paper, wood, rubber, plastic, concrete, plaster. How dangerous is it and is it possible to get moldy?
What is mold and can it be poisoned
The mold visible to the naked eye is a colony of microscopic fungi that are already ready for spore breeding. Scientists identify more than 200 types of mold. In turn, each fungus is able to release a variety of biologically active substances. Some of them are even useful, but most are aimed at suppressing living organisms. A classic example is the antibiotic penicillin secreted by the fungus of the genus Penicillium. In addition to antibiotics, most types of mold, under appropriate conditions, form mycotoxins, aimed at destroying competing life forms.
If spores and mycotoxins enter the body, it is possible that mold is poisoning. This happens when eating spoiled food or getting the fungus in the respiratory tract. At home, bread, dairy products, cereals, potatoes, jams, and marinades grow moldy. Is it possible to get poisoned with bread with mold? Yes it is possible. Any fungal product can cause food poisoning and allergic reactions.
But what about the famous cheeses with mold? For their production, special types of microscopic fungi are used, special conditions for maturation are created. Marble cheeses: Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola - made with a culture of blue mold, Brie and Camembert cheeses - with white mold. And even such products are not recommended for children and pregnant women, allergies and asthmatics.
Ordinary moldy foods can not be eaten! There are types of fungi that grow only on the surface of the product, and there are those that affect the entire substrate. In any case, the entire product can be contaminated with spores and contaminated with mycotoxins. Of course, it is impossible to die from a single use of the moldy product, but it is quite possible to get food poisoning with mold on bread. Mycotoxins affect primarily the liver and kidneys, some species can cause ulcers on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, damage to the central nervous system, impaired hormonal regulation, immunity, blood formation.
The topic of mycotoxins is extensive and is the subject of close attention of scientists. The most dangerous are aflatoxins and fusariotoxins. Accumulating in the body over the years, they cause various diseases, including oncology. Mycotoxins have no taste or smell, most of them are resistant to high temperatures, so boiling does not neutralize the product. Cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables can become infected at the cultivation stage or during storage. There is a special program of state control, which allows to detect and discard low-quality human food and animal feeding.
Symptoms of mold poisoning
In case of mold poisoning, the symptoms will depend on many reasons: the type of fungus, the duration of its effects on the body, the amount and type of toxins produced by it.
Dangerous prolonged exposure to fungal spores entering the human body during breathing. This can occur in moldy rooms and living quarters. Symptoms of mold spore poisoning are non-specific. Diseases of the respiratory system usually occur or allergic reactions develop:
- bronchial asthma;
- cough, runny nose, sinusitis, pneumonia;
- skin rashes.
These manifestations are chronic.
Poisoning with bread with mold or other affected food can be acute and chronic. Develop with this:
- nausea, sometimes vomiting;
- indigestion: diarrhea or increased gas formation;
- increased fatigue;
- sometimes pain in the abdomen.
The ingestion of a large number of mold fungi leads to the emergence of mycosis - the reproduction of the pathogen.
There is a different susceptibility to mold fungi. Children, the elderly, immunocompromised patients are more susceptible to toxic effects. In a healthy body there is a natural barrier. Mold antagonists are useful microflora that inhabit the skin, mucous membranes and intestines.
First aid for mold poisoning
More often the disease has a chronic course. When ingested substandard products resort to the general scheme of first aid.
- Induce vomiting to remove food from the stomach.
- Take activated carbon or any other adsorbent.
- Drink more toxin removal fluid by the kidneys.
Usually requires long-term examination and treatment.
Treatment for mold poisoning
Chronic diseases cause victims to consult a doctor. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the cause. In case of mold poisoning, treatment depends on the changes that the fungus toxins have caused in the body.
Mycoses are diagnosed fairly easily in the laboratory. In the treatment of:
- antifungal drugs are prescribed;
- maintenance therapy is used for the liver and kidneys;
- restore the intestinal microflora.
To prevent mold poisoning, basic hygienic requirements for living and eating conditions are met.
- When buying food, pay special attention to nuts, dried fruits, cereals.
- Properly store food and cooked food. Do not exceed the deadlines.
- Throw away products at the slightest signs of mold, suspicious odor and taste. You can not cut off the moldy crust and eat everything else.
- In the places of storage of products (cellar, basement) do not allow moisture, regularly whitewash with copper sulphate;
- The rooms eliminate moisture, provide waterproofing. Places where the mold appeared, cleaned and wiped with hydrogen peroxide or treated with special means.
Living rooms should be regularly ventilated, well heated, and kept clean. Products affected by mold should not be eaten under any circumstances. Unexplained nausea, headaches, runny nose, bronchitis, and allergic reactions may be suspected of chronic poisoning by molds and their toxins. In such cases, you should consult a doctor and conduct a series of laboratory tests.