Dishwashers, pathogen haven, can cause deadly lung infections

Loads of dishes to wash? Shove them in the dishwasher!! Wait a minute! Research confirms that lung infections may be caused by the dishes washed in the dishwashers as it may be harboring harmful fungi.

The research study

The Turkish Researchers say that the warm and moist environment inside the dishwasher may be a home for dangerous fungi like black yeasts, which are very harmful for the lungs. They called the insides of a dishwasher as a ‘major indoor niche’ that offers refuge to dangerous and destructive fungal pathogens.

In the research study the researchers visited nearly 177 homes that used dishwashers. About 900 samples were collected from the dishwashers, bathtubs, showerheads, refrigerators and bathroom walls. Nearly 33 percent of the collected samples showed the presence of two types of black yeast called phaeomuriformis and Exophiala dermatitidis,as well as fungi.

The samples also included samples of yeast like species called Exophiala, Candida parapsilosis and Rhodotorula. These yeast like species and fungal growths are capable of causing great harm to people.

Study results

Dishwashers worldwide were tested for pathogens. They found out that the main location where the fungi and other harmful pathogens were breeding was the warm and moist insides of a dishwasher

About 60% of the dishwasher insides have been discovered with potentially harmful fungi. These dangerous pathogens were capable of causing skin infections and lung problems in people. Pathogens like fungi love dark and damp conditions and whenever one breathes air full of these fungi, they lead to lung trouble. The fungi spores enter into lungs and start to breed there.

Lungs are the ideal ground to colonize lungs leading to severe lung infections. Have you ever given it a thought what happens to people suffering from a compromised immune system and problems like cystic fibrosis, diabetes are taken in by a severe lung infections? The unsafe dishwashers have rubber seals that are a breeding ground for these dangerous pathogens. Some kinds of fungi flourishes best under salty conditions and the dishwasher soapy powder has a salt content in it.

Recommendations of the researchers

The researchers advice the users, that they should regularly clean their dishwashers. The people need to clean the racks with hot water, wipe them well and place them back when dry, once a month. The cleaning process should involve the use of products like vinegar, bleach and soda, as they are capable of killing the microorganisms.

Mixing two cups warm water and half cup of vinegar should do the trick. Make sure you scrub well on the seal of the door say the experts. Run the dishwasher with vinegar placed on top rack and then a cup of baking soda on the bottom floor of machine. Then wipe clean with a soapy solution.

This new dishwasher study has been published in the journal Medical Mycology.

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