Let's talk about … … mold … … "Here's another!" - you say. "There are so many great topics for conversation in a pleasant company - sporting events, culinary preferences, political events, finally. And, I don't even want to remember this abomination!"
But, it's still worth talking about mold, brownie and food fungus. In addition, who else but us, the inhabitants of modern apartments, face this very mold every day and even, sometimes we fight. And you really need to fight it. Despite the existing misconceptions.
In the old days, there was a belief in peasant families - you eat a piece of moldy bread and you will find money. Back then, bread was worth its weight in gold, and even a spoiled product was not thrown away. The times of malnutrition are gone, but the omen remains.
Some even consider any mold to be good. They say that penicillin is made from it, which means that raw materials are also medicinal. Indeed, penicillin, discovered in 1928 by Scottish explorer Alexander Fleming, has saved many people and launched a whole family of antibiotics. But, we should not forget that for the preparation of penicillin, the mold is subjected to special processing, and the mold needs a special one. And, the use of antibiotics also has the other side of the coin - an allergy caused by the impact of antibiotics on the human immune system.
And, precisely because of allergic manifestations, house and food mold is dangerous. Among the great variety of mushrooms, allergenic properties have been found in 300 species. The number of people with mold allergies is growing every year.
And, it is mold fungi that most often cause an allergic reaction. Mold is a type of microscopic fungus that is made up of a network of tiny filaments. As they grow, these fungi begin to produce spores that are powerful allergens. If spores enter the human body through breathing, then this is manifested by bronchial asthma or allergic bronchitis. In this case, a runny nose, sneezing attacks, shortness of breath may appear. When mold spores enter the gastrointestinal tract, various types of food allergies occur. There are allergic complications of fungal skin diseases and especially allergic dermatoses, up to eczema. Allergy to mold fungi can also cause such an unpleasant disease as migraine, the cause of which sometimes cannot be established.
Molds are found almost everywhere. Mold and its spores are found in the air of any room, but only in different concentrations. Namely, the degree of danger to the human body depends on the concentration.
Outdoors and indoors, there are seasonal variations in the number of spores and other mold particles. Most of the mold spores are released in the fall, when the humidity rises, and there are many dying plants.
What influences the growth and reproduction of mold, and where do mold fungi most often settle? The place of growth and reproduction of molds is, first of all, damp, poorly ventilated rooms. Mold can settle in refrigeration and heating systems, air conditioners, dishwashers, garbage cans, and air purifiers above stoves. Mold has a special love for bathrooms and flower pots. Well, basements, attics, garages and heaps of fallen leaves are sometimes real kingdoms of molds.
Here are the recommendations that doctors give to reduce the concentration of mold spores in the air of rooms already infected with mold, as well as to prevent the appearance of mold in general:
- Avoid prolonged stay in damp, poorly ventilated areas;
- Ventilate well twice a day.Do not forget to ventilate attics, basements, garages;
- Preference should be given to short but intense ventilation of the room, wide open all windows and doors. Heat loss in this case is minimal. Such ventilation is more effective than a constantly slightly open window;
- Do general cleaning regularly, not forgetting to put things in order even in the most secluded corners;
- Particular attention should be paid to the bathroom. It must be well ventilated. After the shower, the glue curtain should be flattened out well to dry. If it is removable, hang it out on the balcony for ventilation. The bath mat should be washed more often, preferably in a washing machine. Washcloths should not be kept constantly wet. They should be dried and removed to a dry place;
- Do not allow water to flow from the taps, this increases the humidity;
- The washed laundry should be hung up to dry immediately. But, more to the liking of mold, laundry is dirty, especially wet;
- Watch out for indoor plants, some mushrooms often settle in them, harming not only your pets, but also you;
- The trash bin should be washed and dried before accepting the next portion of garbage;
- You can use an air conditioner to reduce the humidity in the room, however, this has its drawbacks. Keep in mind that the air conditioner itself can be a source of fungi and fungi spores. Therefore, it is preferable to use an air conditioner having filters with fungicidal "impregnation" or other protective technologies against mildew;
- In the autumn-winter period, all rooms must be well heated. Temporary shutdown of heating (for example, in the country), leads to increased formation of dampness on the walls during their cooling;
- When working at a summer cottage for a long time in autumn and spring, use a respirator when cleaning fallen leaves. Dying parts of plants are places where fungi live and form spores.
Well, as for the moldy bread, that is, to get rich, of course, is not worth it. And porridge does not need to be cooked from moldy cereals, because the Cladosporium herbarum mushroom, which settles on cereals and cereal dishes, is one of the most common and harmful. The one who is thrifty is rich, and the thrifty will not buy bread for future use, allowing it to deteriorate. But, if, nevertheless, an unpleasant smell appeared in your bread bin, it is better to rinse it with a vinegar solution and dry it thoroughly in the sun. Mushrooms do not like this fear!
But what to do if mushrooms encroach not only on your bodily, but also on spiritual food? Let's say you open your favorite volume of works by A.S. Pushkin, and there … mold!
In no case is it necessary to crush the books, unless, of course, you want to lay a new mycelium in the room. You should not rub this abomination with a rag either, it will only dig deeper into the paper. Alas, the book, like the bread bin, will have to be dried, ventilated, and then treated with a 2-3% formalin solution. Don't be discouraged if the book is already stained with fungus. These stains are destroyed as follows: after carefully soaking the stain with hydrogen peroxide, put sheets of thick white paper between the pages, leave it for a while, and then remove the excess peroxide with a blotter. It is possible that you will have to repeat it several times. But, in order to prevent the appearance of mold on books, they need to be read more often. Or at least ventilate and dry. And bookcases, and indeed any furniture in general, should not be placed against a damp wall.
Mold spots on the walls of the refrigerator, washing machine, gently remove with a cloth dipped in an aqueous solution of baking soda (1 teaspoon per glass of water), and then wipe the cleaned area with table vinegar.
If you find mold on the walls, floors, measure the area that it occupies. If this area is more than a square meter, then it is better to turn to professionals to remove it. If less, then experts advise to proceed as follows. The easiest way is to wash the affected area with a mixture of bleach and water (one to one).You can add laundry soap to this mixture. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes, then dry thoroughly. Do not forget to open the windows, wear a respirator and rubber gloves, because we need to kill the mold, not ourselves. And further. No one should see you heroically fighting mold. Especially children. Let your family know that you have won when they enter the room two hours later.
What colors does mold not use in its war paint for our intimidation. It can be white, black, red. The most poisonous today is yellow mold. For the first time they started talking about it 30 years ago. It was found in peanut flour. At the same time, the study of this strongest carcinogen, widespread on our planet, began. Having settled on flour, cereals, damp foodstuffs, the fungus begins to produce aflatoxin, which is extremely dangerous for the body, causing various diseases, including liver cancer. Inhabitants of India and Africa suffer the most from yellow mold. Yes, what do you want? Since time immemorial, Hindus have deliberately introduced yellow mold on cereal dishes, and imagine to improve the taste. This fungus most often penetrates into our regions on peanuts. It is relatively easy to notice it: infected nuts shrink, lose their color, and become bitter. Therefore, if you consume peanuts, it is better to choose them peeled and industrially packaged.
May be infected with yellow mold and rice. We sell white rice, but there are also yellow grains in it. It is possible that they can be affected by yellow mold, so it is better to select and remove them.
Another type of very poisonous mold is Stachybotrys atra. He did not receive a specific name by color, but it is known that he most often settles under wooden floors, if it is, of course, damp enough there. Children suffer more from this type of mold. If you have this fungus in your house, this does not mean that you will definitely get sick. Only a very high concentration of spores can cause disease. However, to prevent this, we need to remain vigilant.
Molds, noble or blue, deserve special attention. This is the same mold that gave the world the famous savory cheeses. (Well, how do Europeans differ from Indians and Africans?) The first mentions of cheese with mold date back to the time of Ancient Rome. This mold was transferred to cheese from a cave in the town of Roquefort by local residents a long time ago. Later, the blue mold was named Penicillium roqueforti. And in 1411 Charles IV awarded the inhabitants of the town of Roquefort the monopoly right to make cheese in local caves.
To get Roquefort-type cheese, special pure culture of useful mold is added to the fresh cheese mass, it is also called "bread mold". This mold is preliminarily grown on a bread cake, aged in a damp cellar for 6-8 weeks. The cake, covered with mold, breaks down into individual particles, which are then added to the cheese mass. Developing in the cheese, the mold gives an original, delicious, slightly pungent taste and bluish marble blotches on the cut.
Of course, to get used to this kind of cheese, you need some training. Doctors say that blue mold, unlike its relatives, is not dangerous.
Keep in mind, however, that if you have already acquired a foodborne fungal allergy, you may need to stop eating moldy cheeses such as Roquefort, Cheddar, and Dorblue.
And, now tell me, please, is it worth giving mold fungi a place in your home, so that later they will reward you with such a list of food prohibitions and a whole bunch of all sorts of troubles?