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61-year-old Brit dies of mold in his bagpipes
Researchers have reported in a specialist magazine about a very unusual death: A bagpiper died of a lung condition because he had not cleaned his instrument for years. The mold that had formed in it became the doom for the 61-year-old.
Diseases caused by molds multiplied
It has long been known that molds pose significant health risks. The respiratory tract of infants, toddlers, seniors and people with a weak immune system are particularly susceptible to exposure to fungal spores in the air they breathe. According to the DIY Academy in Cologne, illnesses due to mold have increased about tenfold in the last 20 years. Allergy sufferers in particular are affected.
Increased risk of asthma
Health experts cite, among other things, irritation of the mucous membrane or headache as possible consequences. However, fungal infections in humans also threaten serious health problems. For example, US scientists from the University of Cincinnati pointed out the risk of asthma from mold fungi years ago.
Bagpiper died of lung disease
British researchers have now reported in a specialist magazine about a death that is attributable to mold contamination. A 61-year-old bagpiper died of a lung condition because he had not cleaned his instrument for years and therefore mold had accumulated in it, the spores of which he inhaled while playing.
Mold found in the instrument
As the scientists report in Thorax magazine, the chronic cough and shortness of breath that bothered the British musician were due to mold in his bagpipes.
In the search for the cause of the symptoms, the doctors had been able to rule out diseases such as cancer or a connective tissue disorder. The doctors came up with the idea of examining the musician's instrument only after he returned from a three-month trip to Australia.
Doctors speak of a “bagpipe lung”
The man did not have his bagpipes with him during his stay in Australia. On his return, he told the doctors that he felt much better during the trip. Later, several types of mushrooms were discovered in analyzes at different places in the bagpipe. The man underwent treatment, but it was too late: he died in October 2014 of inflammation of the lungs.
According to the information, the autopsy of the body finally revealed large cracks in the lungs. According to the study, it was discovered for the first time that such complaints were due to the inhalation of mushrooms from a bagpipe. There was therefore talk of a "bagpipe lung" ("bagpipe lung"). The report also contains a clear warning to musicians. "Wind instrument players need to be aware of the importance of regularly cleaning their instruments."
Fight mold with alcohol
Andrew Bova of the National Bagpipe Center in Glasgow, Scotland told BBC that he cleans his instrument with a cotton ball after each use. "So there is no moisture at all," said the specialist.
In his opinion, the blowpipe should be cleaned with hot water every six months. Percentage might be better. According to German experts, alcohol can kill mold spores. Ethyl alcohol, a 70 to 80 percent alcohol from the pharmacy, can be used for this. (ad)