How many of you in this industry are familiar with this?
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Gardeners Warned After Wood Fungus Kills Man, 47
Friday, June 13, 2008
A 47-year-old man died while gardening after inhaling a mold known as Aspergillus, which grows on compost and decaying wood, BBC News reported Thursday.
The man, who lived in Buckinghamshire, England, was working with rotting wood and plant mulch in his garden in May 2007 when he developed severe breathing problems, a fever and muscle pain.
The incident is detailed in this week’s online edition of the medical journal The Lancet, with the headline “A Warning to Gardeners.”
X-rays showed his lungs were severely inflamed and doctors initially treated him with antibiotics, thinking it was pneumonia.
Later, tests determined he had inhaled Aspergillus, and he was given anti-fungal treatments, but it was too late.
Medical experts suggest using a face mask and said those who notice any breathing problems after gardening should seek medical attention immediately.
I’ve heard mention of Aspergillus, but not of the severity.
Is it a problem here in the U.S.? I am curious about this because I have dealt with a lot of mulch in my lifetime in this business, and have never had any problems, knock on wood.
I was unable to find anything about other deaths or problems, so if you’ve heard anything, pass it along.
This would not prevent me from using hardwood mulch-ever . . . . . however, it will make me look twice at a pile of “old” mulch or woodchips.