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Pillows Dangerous for Your Health

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the not-my-cement-pillow dept.

Science 444

Roland Piquepaille writes "I guess we shouldn't be surprised by the fact that our pillows are miniature zoos containing millions of fungal spores, with some species able to cause diseases and even death. Researchers at the University of Manchester have studied the fungal contamination of our pillows for the first time in seventy years and discovered that these pillows were hot beds of fungal spores. After dissecting both feather and synthetic pillows in regular use between several months and 20 years, they've "identified several thousand spores of fungus per gram of used pillow -- more than a million spores per pillow."

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I prefer to think of it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798464)

As a challenge for my immune system. If I am weak, I shall die... but if I strong, I shall live and reproduce! My genetic information will spread!

Mod Parent Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798473)

I wish I had mod points to give you.

Re:I prefer to think of it (1)

rbarreira (836272) | about 9 years ago | (#13798528)

Were you inspired by this interesting thread? [slashdot.org]

Re:I prefer to think of it (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about 9 years ago | (#13798533)

Even worse, if you remove all the germs, your immune system will stay defenseless. You do need to be in contact with the spores if you want to be able to resist them -- and you will have to resist these sooner or later.

Re:I prefer to think of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798571)

Reproduce!? You're a slashdotter. Come on, now!

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798578)

Since when do slashdot posters reproduce?

Re:I prefer to think of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798600)

Ick.. make sure to wash your sheets sometime.. after spreading all that genetic information everywhere...

Re:I prefer to think of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798714)

buddy, you're on /. The chances of you're getting laid are slim to nil.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Won't happen again.

how do we "treat" this problem? (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | about 9 years ago | (#13798465)

Well as one who has struggled with asthma forever I find this interesting news and could offer potential explanations for the ratcheting up of symptoms when going to bed (always, weird). It would have been nice if the article offered up more ideas about approaches to attenuate the exposure and risk of the fungi. For those who scanned, the best and only tidbit I could find in the entire article was this indirect advice: " Fortunately, hospital pillows have plastic covers and so are unlikely to cause problems, ..."

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (1)

toddbu (748790) | about 9 years ago | (#13798484)

It would have been nice if the article offered up more ideas about approaches to attenuate the exposure and risk of the fungi.

How about washing your bedding every once in a while? Buy white sheets so you can use lots of bleach.

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#13798539)

I sleep on 1500 threadcount sheets. Not a chance in hell I'd trust those babies in a vat of bleach. Honestly, I'd rather suffer some terrible fungal infection than give up my bedding. It's like sleeping in a Fabricland womb.

But you know, people have been sleeping in beds and worse for a very long time. Somehow, I think they'll continue to survive. Granted, there are some exceptions like yagu, but in general . . .

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (5, Interesting)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | about 9 years ago | (#13798638)

What's the deal with the ratcheting up of thread counts lately? I go into Bed Bath and Beyond or some other consumer hell and even the off-brand junk is advertising 1000-2000 threads. It's silly because most of those fabrics are still junk, but junk with a lot of threads. Personally, after going through two expensive sets of name-brand, high-thread bedding that hardly lasted 3 years, I bought a set from a hotel supplier. They don't specify it, but if I had to guess, I'd say the thread count is 250 or so. They feel great and are like-new after years of use.

As for bleach, try hanging your bedding in the sun. It works great and costs nothing.

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798706)

yeh i'm with you hippy down with the man and modern society I wipe my butt with leaves from the back yard because it's more natural..

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (3, Insightful)

HairyCanary (688865) | about 9 years ago | (#13798704)

Off-topic, yes, but here goes... There is no such thing as 1500 threadcount fabric. Nothing in four digits at all. What you got there is a cute marketing department that took two fabrics optimistically containing 750 threads per inch and wove them together getting 1500. Except it's not at all comparable to what real 1500 threadcount fabric would be like if you could make it...

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (4, Informative)

xSauronx (608805) | about 9 years ago | (#13798649)

im a drycleaner and im here to tell you that using excessive amounts of bleach is going to cause any fabrics to wear out faster. use whatever amount the directions on the bottle tell you to, and be sure to rinse thoroughly after bleaching anything. hot water boosts the strength of bleaches, though if you prefer, a lukewarm or cool soak can be effective (though not always to the same extent), but will require a longer bath before rinsing to do the job.

Plastic covers... (1)

Auraiken (862386) | about 9 years ago | (#13798486)

Plastic covers aren't exactly the most comfortable thing to sleep on. There is a reason that our pillow are soft and morphable. Is this going to turn into a safe vs comfort debate in the future?

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798501)

> Fortunately, hospital pillows have plastic covers and so are unlikely to cause problems, ..."

To avoid suffocation, do not give this plastic bag to children.

[ methinks plastic covered pillows might be a tad unsafe unless done in a proper manner ]

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 years ago | (#13798574)

buy cheap pillows, make sure they dry completely, and throw them away regularly. I hate to encourage the whole disposable culture thing, but you just can't wash that stuff out of there, and washing pillows tends to destroy them anyway. Hand washing and air drying (weather permitting) your pillows with an antifungal is probably not a bad idea though.

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (1)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#13798576)

Fortunately, hospital pillows have plastic covers and so are unlikely to cause problems, ..."

Possible side effects include suffocation.

Fungus AmongUs (4, Insightful)

drgonzo59 (747139) | about 9 years ago | (#13798630)

My wife has bad asthma so we :
1.make sure to buy new pillows every year or so (the cheap synthetic kind)
2.wash them often in hot water
3.wash the pillow cases in bleach and hot water every week
4.use protective dust mite covers (not sure if these work for fungual spores?). The plastic ones should work too.

All in all it works pretty well. This article though seems to fall into the "let's play on people's fear of the invisible deadly germs" category. Everyone has been sleeping on old pillows made from animal feathers for centuries and millenia probably and we seem to have survived. So people who are healthy could just continue sleeping the way they did before. There are probably other problems in the world to worry about other than fungus in pillows.

Re:Fungus AmongUs (5, Funny)

Bastian (66383) | about 9 years ago | (#13798698)

There are probably other problems in the world to worry about other than fungus in pillows.

You're right.

FUNGUS IN MATTRESSES! OH MY GOD, WE'RE GOING TO DIE! AAAAAAAAA!

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (1)

Jinxyjeanes (920503) | about 9 years ago | (#13798664)

But then, if you heat plastic? It gives of a Carcinogenic gas. Not only that, if you are smothered with a hospital pillow, your chances of survival are reduced?

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (4, Funny)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 9 years ago | (#13798682)

Time to start microwaving pillows, everyone!

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (2, Insightful)

EnderWigginsXenocide (852478) | about 9 years ago | (#13798712)

How to treat this? With pencils [slashdot.org] of course.

Re:how do we "treat" this problem? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | about 9 years ago | (#13798723)

It would have been nice if the article offered up more ideas about approaches to attenuate the exposure and risk of the fungi.

Pillows have long been identified as an irritant for people with respiratory problems, which is why you can already buy plenty of asthma specific pillow cases (which usually include a non-porous liner to make it less hospitable for things like dust mites, and of course spores), and of course you should change your bedding frequently.

Strange that these "measure things that have always been there, but a number sounds scary" type of fear mongering news get any attention at all. There was some idiotic British show that recently made the rounds in my area that they advertised with a radio campaign that included a sound snippet of one of the hosts saying "we found three different types of bacteria in this room!". Oh no! Three types!

Oh, wait, there are hundreds, thousands, or millions of types of bacteria all over the place, and they're a completely normal part of this enormous biosphere that we live in.

And how many spores.... (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 9 years ago | (#13798468)

And how many spores do I inhale just by walking outside my front door? How many live in the rugs at my place of work? How many may be found in the seats at the movie theater? Millions. Thats why he have an immune system IIRC.

-d

Re:And how many spores.... (5, Insightful)

madprof (4723) | about 9 years ago | (#13798478)

Exactly. If this was worth panicking over then why are we not all dying en masse due to the widepread use of pillows across the globe?

Obviously... (1)

Auraiken (862386) | about 9 years ago | (#13798497)

...the evil spore creatures are plotting our demise in a much more devastating fashion. All we can do is wait.

Re:Obviously... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 9 years ago | (#13798720)

oh no, its not the evil spore creatures.. its the evil pillows... you think they wrap themselves in a knot to help us sleep? Push all their innards to one end so you have a lumpy pillow to assist us in sleeping? Gradually make feathers come out of the fabric pointy end first...

No... they're b*st*rds slowly plotting our downfall. Now they've just found a new way to get to us. If only science would work towards finding a replacement, then world peace would ensue and we'd all be happy and relaxed from a good night's sleep.

Re:And how many spores.... (1)

bheer (633842) | about 9 years ago | (#13798710)

Great point. The germs->scary link the media plays up is ridiculous. Hygiene is important but you can carry it too far, and when you've done that you've screwed up your immune system so bad that you need ever increasing levels of sanitization (and associated costs) *just to live*.

Makes you wonder how the millions living in unsanitary poverty stricken conditions around the world manage to out-do first-world growth rates.

New pillow^Wpoll, guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798470)


Find it here [slashdot.org] .

Serenity NOW!!!

20 years? (4, Funny)

grinwell (138078) | about 9 years ago | (#13798472)

The real question is who uses a pillow for 20 years. That fungus could be older than your kids.

Re:20 years? (4, Interesting)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | about 9 years ago | (#13798517)

Hey, I'm 21 and have been using the same pillow since I was 3 or 4. It's hard to break a pillow, so it makes sense that they can last many years. Just like with a computer- as long as it keeps doing it's job, there's no reason to replace it (Unless you want more power, but I dare you to find me a more powerful pillow than the one I've been using for 18ish years.)

Re:20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798534)

The real question is who uses a pillow for 20 years.

Me! I had the same pillow from when I was a small child until earlier this year, when I moved into a furnished flat with new pillows on the bed. That's about 30 years. Actually, I've still got it for when I next move house.

Re:20 years? (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 9 years ago | (#13798631)

The real question is who uses a pillow for 20 years. That fungus could be older than your kids.

What about pillows in guest rooms or sofa throw pillows. Those could be around for a very long time.

Re:20 years? (2, Funny)

Jamu (852752) | about 9 years ago | (#13798652)

The real question is who uses a pillow for 20 years. That fungus could be older than your kids.

Hmmmm, I really need to buy some new pillows...

Not that we Shouldn't Use Pillows. (2, Insightful)

dshaw858 (828072) | about 9 years ago | (#13798474)

Although I have no doubt that our pillows are "hot beds of fungal spores", I don't think that not using a pillow would make it any better. I mean, short of sterilizing your bed after each "use" (daily), there's really no way we can avoid this problem. Well, short of a self-sterilizing pillow... but that's yet to be invented.

- dshaw

So THAT's why King Tut used a rock for a pillow (2, Funny)

schwaang (667808) | about 9 years ago | (#13798525)

The solution to fungal-spore producing pillow mites was discovered thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt: the stone pillow [export-egypt.com] .

NOT to be confused with this chinese knock-off [cafepress.com] .

The Best Solution Evar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798536)

Sleep on a hardwood floor. No more nasty fungal spores to deal with!!

Re:Not that we Shouldn't Use Pillows. (2, Funny)

axonal (732578) | about 9 years ago | (#13798552)

Well, short of a self-sterilizing pillow... but that's yet to be invented.

I can imagine one of these pillows going into self-sterilization mode while someone is sleeping on it. Someone waking up to their pillow autoclaving the side of their face.

Re:Not that we Shouldn't Use Pillows. (2, Interesting)

bleckywelcky (518520) | about 9 years ago | (#13798562)

Well, I'm probably guilty of not cleaning or discarding my pillow often enough, but I think a regular wash would do the trick. How many people clean their bathrooms every day? And they aren't cesspools of disease. I'm willing to admit that I only clean my bathroom when needed (usually a quick clean every 1 week, and a thorough clean every 2 weeks), but it isn't used all that often, and only by 1 person (me). But still, there are no fungus colonies running rampant in there. Weird stenches from rogue bacteria do not emanate from there. In fact, it smells and looks cleaner that other people's bathrooms that I've been in. So what's the point? Wash your pillow once every 1 or 2 weeks and discard it every 2 or 3 months. Feel free to change those numbers as you wish. I'm not an expert, just speculation. Besides, pillows are cheap. Although my problem is that once I've broken in a pillow and it has that nice soft cushiony feel to it, I don't like to get rid of it and start over with a new annoying-fluff-in-your-face pillow.

Warning, IANAPE - Pillow Expert

Re:Not that we Shouldn't Use Pillows. (1)

mikael (484) | about 9 years ago | (#13798729)

To get rid of dust mites, there was one company that offered to nitrogen-freeze your bed and fabrics. They would seal the bed in plastic, then pump in chilled nitrogen - above absolute zero, but below -30C. Enough to kill off all the dust mites (and maybe the spores as well?).

Where's the Roland Piquepaille summary? (-1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13798475)

Where is the typical Roland Piquepaille summary, at Roland Piquepaille's blog? You know, where all the ads are displayed.

Re:Where's the Roland Piquepaille summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798490)


This is Roland Piquepaille V2.0: Kindler, Gentler, less Spammy.

This is too important for blog spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798524)

As a pillow biter, he's very worried about this issue. He's all about safe sex.

Re:Where's the Roland Piquepaille summary? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798629)

Where is the typical Roland Piquepaille summary, at Roland Piquepaille's blog? You know, where all the ads are displayed.
Is it possible that Scuttlemonkey edited it out?

Roland sure does have the article on the top of his blog.

Oh, the blind rage he must be feeling now! Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!

witchcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798476)

i've been using pillows all my life and i've never had a problem. burn those scientists at the stake

Re:witchcraft (2, Interesting)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 9 years ago | (#13798703)

This is only phase one, called "spreading pillow-FUD". Phase two is called "sell new anti-fungal pillows", closely followed by phase three, "Profit!". Watch my words.

I will probably die of a traffic accident, cancer or (my favorite) old age. A stupid spore is no match for my immune system. If I'm sleeping with them every night, they are most probably well known to the immune system, I trust it will take care of any intruders.

Think that's bad? (4, Funny)

aliens (90441) | about 9 years ago | (#13798477)

They should have studied my Calc 2 text book from college. I caught myself asleep and drooling on that poor book more times than I can remember.

Use the bacteria killing Pencil!!! (3, Funny)

Fluffy_Kitten (911430) | about 9 years ago | (#13798480)

Maybe we should use that bacteria killing pencil to kill all that fungus!!!

Re:Use the bacteria killing Pencil!!! (1)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | about 9 years ago | (#13798496)

Er, maybe not... unless you think that a pencil that kills BACTERIA would kill FUNGI. :P

just eat it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798481)

mmmm... fungi

Goodnight (5, Funny)

smvp6459 (896580) | about 9 years ago | (#13798482)

Goodnight Timmy and don't let the fungal spores cause you respiratory distress.

Well, toss out that pillow and go... (5, Funny)

ForestGrump (644805) | about 9 years ago | (#13798483)

adopt a dog from the SPCA. Great companions, and great pillows too!*

I used to have a german shep/rot mix. loyal as can be and a great companion to the end. He also made a great pillow too!

Grump

*until it farts or wants to get up and leave.

Re:Well, toss out that pillow and go... (1)

NotWorkSafe (891638) | about 9 years ago | (#13798512)

Oh yeah...a dog will be much cleaner than my pillow.

Re:Well, toss out that pillow and go... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798635)

Title: Development of a technique for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs
Author(s): Collins SB, Perez-Camargo G, Gettinby G, Butterwick RF, Batt RM, Giffard CJ
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF VETERINARY RESEARCH 62 (7): 1014-1019 JUL 2001 Document Type: Article
Language: English
Cited References: 12 Times Cited: 0
Abstract: Objective-To develop a noninvasive method for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs.
Animals-8 adult dogs.

Procedure-Rectal gases were collected via a perforated tube held close to each dog's anus and attached to a monitoring pump fitted with a sensor that recorded hydrogen sulfide concentrations every 20 seconds. Patterns of flatulence were monitored for 14 hours after feeding on 4 days, and within- and between-dog variation was assessed over 4 hours on 4 consecutive days.
Rate of hydrogen sulfide production (flatulence index) and frequency and number of emissions were evaluated as potential indicators of flatus characteristics. An odor judge assigned an odor rating to each flatulence episode, and the relationship between that rating and hydrogen sulfide concentration was determined.

Results-Flatulence patterns varied within and between dogs. Variation was most pronounced for flatulence index; mean coefficients of variance within dogs over lime and between dogs on each day were 75 and 103%, respectively Flatus with hydrogen sulfide concentrations > 1 parts per million could be detected by the odor judge, and severity of malodor was highly correlated with hydrogen sulfide concentration. Odor ratings were accurately predicted by use of the equation 1.51 x hydrogen sulfide concentration(0.28).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-The technique described in this report appears to provide sensitive, reliable, and relevant data and will enable further studies of the factors that influence flatulence in dogs. Use of this technique also has the potential to aid in investigations of colonic physiology and pathology.

KeyWords Plus: FLATUS
Addresses: Collins SB (reprint author), Uncle Bens Australia, Kelly St, Wodonga, Vic 3690 Australia Waltham Ctr Pet Nutr, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE14 4RT England Univ Strathclyde, Dept Stat & Modeling Sci, Glasgow, Lanark G1 1XH Scotland
Publisher: AMER VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOC, 1931 N MEACHAM RD SUITE 100, SCHAUMBURG, IL 60173-4360 USA Subject Category: VETERINARY SCIENCES IDS Number: 447RB

ISSN: 0002-9645

Re:Well, toss out that pillow and go... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798667)

Cats use their pets for pillows too.

Somebody has to say it.... (1)

Kahless2k (799262) | about 9 years ago | (#13798487)

Dont let the bed bugs bite!

What about Those Japanese Pillows... (2, Insightful)

SirChive (229195) | about 9 years ago | (#13798502)

Aren't there some kind of Japanese pillow filled with Barley husks or somethig like that. Wonder if that would be any more resistent to fungus.

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (1)

ViX44 (893232) | about 9 years ago | (#13798545)

As far as I know, traditional Japanese bedding is very susceptible to rotting, since it's made from organic matter, and has to be properly aired, sunned, and maintained.

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (1)

belmolis (702863) | about 9 years ago | (#13798564)

I don't know whether they are better or worse as breeding grounds for fungi, but those barley husk pillows are terrific. They give you really good support and are really comfortable.

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (1)

debauched sloth (882145) | about 9 years ago | (#13798627)

I'd think barley husks would be a pretty good growth medium for mushrooms. Mmmmm...

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (2, Insightful)

jahknow (827266) | about 9 years ago | (#13798634)

I had a buckwheat hull pillow for about a decade (the longest I can recall using a pillow). I ended up suspecting it of giving me sinus problems so I got rid of it. Voila, the allergies cleared up and the sinuses felt much better. I had heard the buckwheat hulls disintegrate over time, so I'm not sure if it was that, fungi, or just a decade of dust. At any rate, I miss that pillow. As far as doing its job (supporting my head and neck), it was by far the most comfortable pillow ever.

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (2, Insightful)

Tim (686) | about 9 years ago | (#13798637)

Given that those pillows resemble bags of cement (without the softness or warmth), I doubt that anything could live in them.

I just returned from a trip to Japan. The Japanese do many things well (public transport, food, bathing), but unfortunately, sleeping is not one of them. I'm pretty sure that "futon" means "aching back" in Japanese....

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (1)

adagioforstrings (192285) | about 9 years ago | (#13798694)

Do the pillows look like this? [msn.com]

Re:What about Those Japanese Pillows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798700)

How about one filled with rye husks. The only fungus you'd have to worry about is ergot. Mmmmmm... halucenogenic pillow....

Indeed (2, Insightful)

Data Link Layer (743774) | about 9 years ago | (#13798506)

This is why every couple of weeks or so I bleach the hell out of my pillow and wash it.

Breathe chlorine vapors all night instead (1)

DECS (891519) | about 9 years ago | (#13798663)

Breathing chlorine vapors all night will probably be worse than exposure to some spores. I just use my immune system.

Just like the news (5, Insightful)

pellik (193063) | about 9 years ago | (#13798508)

A lot of this comes accross as scare tactics, imo. Fungal spores are very, very small things. So you have several thousand per gram, and a million of em on your pillow. How does this compare to other non-pillow personal objects? Is this unusual? It would have been nice if the reporter commented on data from the negative control such as a pillow nobody sleeps on. Furthermore, what percentage of these million fungi are actually pathogenic?

Re:Just like the news (0, Troll)

blueadept1 (844312) | about 9 years ago | (#13798697)

"Fungal spores are very, very small things."

That's what they said about the plague.

(don't go and correct me saying the plague was before there was knowledge of bacteria and viruses that spread disease, asshole.)

Death by Pillow (2, Funny)

ploafmaster general (920649) | about 9 years ago | (#13798510)

I'd have something to say about this, but I think I just contracted a terminal illness from my pillow...

Good (1)

Muppski (918156) | about 9 years ago | (#13798519)

Who wants to be 40 anyways?

Re:Good (1)

grub (11606) | about 9 years ago | (#13798572)


Who wants to be 40 anyways?

Me! In 2 months, 9 days. ;)

Re:Good (1)

Jamu (852752) | about 9 years ago | (#13798676)

Who wants to be 40 anyways?

It's better than the alternative.

Wrap 'em (4, Interesting)

PhotoGuy (189467) | about 9 years ago | (#13798526)

My son has dust allergies, and the Dr. recommended wrapping his pillow in polyethlyene and taping it. With a good thick pillow case over it, you barely notice it, yet retain the comfort of the pillow.

I would imagine that would go a long way towards reducing fungus and other pillow-dwellers.

Re:Wrap 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798607)

Too bad polyethelyne causes cancer [ecologycenter.org] . Sleep tight!

Re:Wrap 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798705)

"Sleep tight!"

haha priceless

shirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798527)

I've made it a habit to cover my pillow with a T-shirt, the next day I would flip it around and after 2 uses it gets tossed into the dirty laundry pile. I'm not sure how big of a difference that makes but it should amount to something.

What about the matress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798532)

The matress catches dead skin, hair, blood, sweat and cookie crumbs. It's probably loaded with all kinds of microscopic nasties.

Personally, I've solved the problem by peeing in the bed every night. Everyone knows that urine kills bacteria and fungus.

And the point is? (0, Troll)

b100dian (771163) | about 9 years ago | (#13798535)

Am I already dead?
..nope

Then why the heck are they researching this kind of things?

I am sure those scientists aren't using a pillow and all their informal discussions are "did you know that your pillow... (yadda yadda)...?".
Oh, please...

Misinformation? (1)

omirix (819581) | about 9 years ago | (#13798565)

"For this new study, which was published online today in the scientific journal Allergy, the team studied samples from ten pillows with between 1.5 and 20 years of regular use." I wouldn't quite count 18 months as "a few".

In other news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798569)

Health experts are now warning of population explosions of foreign life forms able to subsist upon only sunlight and air. These dangerous beings, dubbed "plants" by leading scientists, pose a grave new threat to humanity.

An excerpt from the Journal of Science quotes Dr. Hys Tarea of the University of New Dehli: "With unlimited energy sources, these plants will cover every corner of arable land and consume large quantities of the earth's atmosphere if left unchecked, expelling only oxygen waste. These life forms have been living among us for millions of years and only now is the danger apparent. We must move quickly if we are to save lives."

Bacteria, funguses, and viruses are everwhere. (4, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 9 years ago | (#13798573)

The article fails to mention that there are bacteria, funguses, and viruses everywhere.

Probably the article is a public relations effort. Probably the Fungal Research Trust [fungalresearchtrust.org] is a money-making scheme of one or more large pharmaceutical companies, a way to preserve deniability.

The web site says it is a "not-for-profit charity". However, there are many ways that those who control the "charity" can use general research for profit. If there's some social cost, however, a "charity" provides a barrier between the work and the pharmaceutical companies.

Maybe people will spend more money on fungus medicine because of the article.

The fact that the article has no balance or perspective indicates the real purpose is different than telling the truth, in my opinion.

Re:Bacteria, funguses, and viruses are everwhere. (1)

getnate (518090) | about 9 years ago | (#13798623)

I agree. There are germs everywhere. I think this be a prime example of irresponisble/hype reporting on scientific studies.

Thanks a lot scientists (2, Funny)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 9 years ago | (#13798580)

Oh, great. now I have a serious case of insomnia. Check your mail for the lawsuit for about a dozen years of psychologist's bills.

phew (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | about 9 years ago | (#13798582)

First I thought this danger was related to pillow fights!

suck on a corner ... (2, Funny)

bushboy (112290) | about 9 years ago | (#13798589)

... of your towel, the nutrients will take out those nasty pillow bugs.

Simple Neglect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798604)

"first time in seventy years"

I wash my pillows more often than that.

Just what I wanted.... (0, Offtopic)

MarkusQ (450076) | about 9 years ago | (#13798613)


Just as I turned in disgust from the latest Dan Lyons OSS flamebait (nominally about MySQL but mainly about his fear and loathing of Open Source) I thought to myself "What to I want to read now to get the taste out of my metaphorical mouth?"

I Dvorak flamebait? No, we just had one of those, and anyway reading two flamebaits in a row is bad for my blood pressure.

I know what would hit the spot! A Roland Piquepaille troll! We haven't had one of those for a while.

It's as if the gods heard my plea.

Darn those gods to heck anyway. I never thought I'd say it, but I miss Jon Katz!

--MarkusQ

Bout damn time.... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | about 9 years ago | (#13798615)

There are pillows in my parents house that are 10 years old and still in use. I can't believe my mother refuses to throw them out and still uses them.... Pillows are not washed.... Thus, they would seem like something that should be replaced once every couple years at least....

Decontamination (1)

PenGun (794213) | about 9 years ago | (#13798616)



  Two ways. In a really cold country, leave your pillow outside for a couple of days at below 0, kill most of em'.

  Nuke yer pillow if yer MW is big enough. Should get em' all :). Watch out for zippers, rare but not unknown.

  Lots of mites on em' too, they like to drink from your eyes at night.

    PenGun
  Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

You mean we can buy MORE, now? (2, Interesting)

geekpuppySEA (724733) | about 9 years ago | (#13798617)

*1950's housewife* Why, I never knew I could throw away everything in my house, every day, and get fresh, new things! And it seems every product works this way. My family will never be happier. Thanks, capitalism!

OMG@!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13798620)

I had better just start walking around in a self-contained biosuit now. Now that there are germs on my PILLOW!! OH NOES!

Seriously, think about how much crap there is in the average hamburger, on the average keyboard, outside in the average air. This is insignificant.

Does anyone else think that our habit of MAXIUMUM STERILIAZATION might be making our immune systems weaker?

Other dangers in the air at home (2, Informative)

Tandoori Haggis (662404) | about 9 years ago | (#13798625)

Protect yourself from breathing household poisons:
http://www.calpoison.org/public/breath.html

TOP "10" HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS: http://consumerlawpage.com/article/household-chemi cals.shtml
Also at http://www.ghchealth.com/top-10-hazardous-househol d-chemicals.html

Air Friendly Household Products:
www.lung.ca/cando/content/FS-HOUSE.pdf

Solid fuels seem to be a primary contibutor to fatalities. This pdf lists other health affecting materials:
ehs.sph.berkeley.edu/krsmith/Publications/Chapt%20 18%20IAP%20from%20Soid%20Fuels.pdf

A useful sheet on exposure points out that as we know, different people have different sensitivity to differnt exposure levels and methods of differnt substances:

http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/environ/expos ure.htm

Oh, I guess thats enough exposure to URL's in this posting.

Grams? (1)

RandomPrecision (911416) | about 9 years ago | (#13798656)

Maybe I'm missing something, but fungus per grams seems like an odd measurement. That would imply that a lighter pillow of the same size would have less fungus.

Actually, if there's a range of fungal spores per gram, according to their study, maybe it simply means that fungi tend to live on the heavier things they studied (they say feathers and synthetic, and I'm not up on synthetic pillow substance design, but if we assume that it's lighter, that would mean the material is more fungus-resistant than feathers).

The Curse Of Piquepaille (5, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | about 9 years ago | (#13798662)

I was hoping that perhaps the editors had finally broken their unspecified "arraignment" with Roland Piquepaille due to the enormous outcry, but alas, they waited until things cooled-down from his 50 submissions a week, and are now once again accepting anything he submits.

This time, the only link to his "news" site is the link for his name, but I don't think that will last for long. By his 40th story this time next week we can be assured that a quick paraphrase....er..."overview" will quietly slip in again, and multiply from there.

To think, I almost became a regular /. reader again.

The really interesting thing is that if the editors came clean on a lot of things from the outset, it would allay a lot of concerns, instead they give us a wall of silence except when it comes time to ask for subscriptions.

The feather pillow (4, Interesting)

kaos.geo (587126) | about 9 years ago | (#13798672)

I read this in school when i was a child.
It's Horacio Quiroga's short story The Feather Pillow.

http://www.horrormasters.com/Text/a0568.pdf [horrormasters.com]

So much for fungal spores...try this and you will throw your pillow out the window (or buy synthetics, like the one I have ;))

Maybe I'm jaded... but I couldn't care less (2, Interesting)

brxndxn (461473) | about 9 years ago | (#13798692)

I have an old expensive 100% down pillow that is more than 15 years old. It's never really been washed. It has a nice 'musk' smell to it - like an old tent. I have 3 other pillows - all newer - and they're all 100% down, but they just don't feel near as nice. I like my old pillow.. it's yellowish/tan in color (used to be pure white).

I read this article and then hugged my old pillow.

Next thing you know, I'm gonna read an article that says "OMG OMG STOP EVERYTHING.. There's fungi in cheese!"

not that comfy as people think (2, Insightful)

Frozen Void (831218) | about 9 years ago | (#13798722)

and not to mention pillows are capable distorting the neck when you sleep.
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