It might not be pleasant to think about, but we are constantly surrounded by fungus. One species in particular, Aspergillus, is present almost everywhere, including inside homes and other buildings. Although most people are not affected by the presence of common and pervasive fungi, for those with compromised immune systems, it can present a major health risk.
A research team in Germany has learned more about how the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus affects immune systems and can lead to potentially fatal consequences. Based on this research, scientists may eventually get a better understanding of the mechanisms behind mycotoxins and develop solutions for preventing harmful health effects.
The Dangers of Mycotoxins
A mycotoxin is a byproduct of fungus spores that is toxic to humans. Depending on the type of mycotoxin, it could cause cancer, affect the immune system, or cause a range of adverse health effects. A mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus fumigatus, gliotoxin has an immunosuppressive effect, causing the immune system to weaken after exposure. The researchers found that this is because gliotoxin inhibits the production of a substance in the body that allows immune cells to communicate with each other, allowing spores to enter the body and potentially cause harm.
Why Mycotoxin Testing Matters
This is just one example of one type of mycotoxin and the mechanism it uses to infiltrate the body. Other types of fungus present different risks. Regardless of the type of fungus present in a space, if it presents a risk to human health, it should be addressed. This is one reason that mycotoxin testing is so important in environments where people are getting sick, if there is suspicion of mold or fungus in a home, or in areas where people with compromised immune systems gather. It’s important to recognize that fungus can be present anywhere in a home, including the places that can’t be seen—such as inside walls, beneath floors, and inside ventilation systems. In some cases, mold and fungus can be removed with basic cleaning and disinfection methods, but when mycotoxin testing shows that there are still dangerous spores present, a different approach is required.
Use D7 to Kill Fungus
D7 is a disinfectant that kills mold and fungus at the DNA level, neutralizing the toxic effects and preventing future growth. The product can be applied in a number of ways, but the clinging foam works best in the difficult-to-reach areas where spores might be hiding. It can be sprayed inside walls where the foam will expand to reach even the farthest corners. The product is nontoxic and does not require specialized personal protective equipment to apply, making it a preferred choice for remediation crews. With a minimum contact time of just ten minutes, treating an affected space with D7 is both safe and efficient.
This registered fungicide can be used to kill both Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton interdigitale. Aspergillus niger, which typically grows on produce, is a common cause of fungal ear infections. Trichophyton interdigitale is connected to ringworm infections, tinea infections, and skin disease. The product is also currently being tested for its efficacy on other types of fungus, including Aspergillus fumigatus.
Make Decisions Based on Mycotoxin Testing
Fungus can thrive in a building for a number of reasons, including water damage from a flood, excessive humidity, poor building practices, and more. Regardless of how it got there, it’s critical to remove fungus when mycotoxin testing shows the presence of dangerous spores that could increase the risk of disease in those who are exposed to it. Using a product like D7 to kill fungus not only makes spaces safer for inhabitants, but it is also safe for the crews that apply it. Read our Mold Remediation Case Study to learn more about how D7 can be used to remove mold and fungus.