Can one poison yourself with mold?
Mold lives everywhere. Despite the fact that molds successfully cope with the most unfavorable factors of the environment, yet for most species, favorable conditions are required: high humidity and a temperature of +20 to +30 degrees.
Mold grows not only on food products, but also on paper, wood, rubber, plastic, concrete, plaster. Is it dangerous and can it be poisoned by mold?
What is mold and whether it can be poisoned
Visible to the naked eye mold - a colony of microscopic fungi, already ready for spore reproduction. Scientists identify more than 200 types of mold. In turn, each fungus is able to release a lot 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 Penicillium fungus. In addition to antibiotics, most types of mold, under appropriate conditions, form mycotoxins, aimed at destroying competing life forms.
If spores and mycotoxins get into the body, it may be mold poisoning. This happens when you eat spoiled food or get a fungus into the respiratory tract. At home, mold is mainly bread, dairy products, cereals, potatoes, jam, marinades. Is it possible to poison bread with mold? Yes it is possible. Any product covered with fungi can cause food poisoning and allergic reactions.
And what about the famous cheese with mold? For their production, special types of microscopic fungi are used, special conditions for maturation are created. Marble cheeses: Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola - are made with the application of a blue mold culture, Bree and Camembert cheeses - with white mold. And even such foods are not recommended for children and pregnant women, allergic people and asthmatics.
Conventional products, covered with mold, there is no! There are kinds of fungi, growing only on the surface of the product, but there are those that affect the entire substrate. In any case, the whole product can be contaminated with spores and infected with mycotoxins. Of course, one can not die from a single use of a moldy product, but it is quite possible to get food poisoning with mold on bread. Mycotoxins primarily affect the liver and kidneys, some can cause ulcers on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, damage to the central nervous system, disruption of hormonal regulation, immunity, hematopoiesis.
The topic of mycotoxins is extensive and is the subject of close attention of scientists. Aflatoxins and fusariotoxins are most dangerous. Accumulating in the body for years, they cause various diseases, up to oncology. Mycotoxins do not taste and smell, most of them are resistant to high temperatures, so that digestion does not detoxify the product. Cereals, nuts, fruits and vegetables can be infected even at the stage of cultivation or during storage. There is a special program of state control, which allows to detect and reject poor-quality human food and animal feeding.
Symptoms of mold poisoning
When poisoning with mold symptoms will depend on many factors: the nature of the fungus, the duration of its effects on the body, the amount and type of toxins it produces.
Danger of prolonged exposure to fungal spores that enter the human body during breathing. This can occur in moldy rooms and living quarters. Symptoms of poisoning with spores mold are non-specific. Diseases of the respiratory system usually appear or allergic reactions develop:
- bronchial asthma;
- cough, runny nose, sinusitis, pneumonia;
- skin rashes.
These manifestations are chronic.
Poisoning bread with mold or other affected foods can be acute and chronic. Develop in this case:
- nausea, sometimes vomiting;
- indigestion disorder: diarrhea or excessive gassing;
- increased fatigue;
- sometimes pain in the abdomen.
The ingress of a large number of molds into the body leads to the appearance of mycosis - the propagation of the pathogen.
There is a different susceptibility to mold fungi. Children, the elderly, patients with weakened immunity - are more susceptible to toxic effects. In a healthy body, there is a natural barrier. Antagonists of mold are a useful microflora, inhabiting the skin, mucous membranes and intestines.
First aid for mold poisoning
More often the disease has a chronic course. If you get into the stomach of substandard products, they resort to the general scheme of first aid.
- Induce vomiting to remove food from the stomach.
- Take activated charcoal or any other adsorbent.
- Drink more liquid to excrete toxin by the kidneys.
Usually a long examination and treatment is required.
Treatment for poisoning with mold
Chronic diseases cause the injured to consult a doctor. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the cause. When poisoning with mold treatment depends on the changes that fungal toxins caused in the body.
Mycosis is diagnosed quite easily in the laboratory. In the treatment:
- prescribe antifungal drugs;
- use maintenance therapy for the liver and kidneys;
- restore the intestinal microflora.
To prevent mold poisoning, the basic hygienic requirements to living conditions and nutrition are observed.
- When buying food, pay special attention to nuts, dried fruits, cereals.
- Store food and cooked foods correctly. Do not exceed the time limit.
- Throw away food at the slightest signs of mold, suspicious smell and taste. You can not cut a moldy crust and eat everything else.
- In places where food is stored (cellar, cellar), dampness is not tolerated, whitewash with copper sulfate is regularly performed;
- In rooms, eliminate moisture, provide for 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, maintained in them clean. Products affected by mold should not be eaten under any circumstances. Suspicion of chronic poisoning with mold fungi and their toxins can become unexplained nausea, headaches, runny nose, bronchitis, allergic reactions. In such cases, you should consult a doctor and conduct a number of laboratory tests.