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bulletAspergillus is a group of micro-fungi. It is a mould (mold USA)
bulletThey are found world wide and commonly occur on decaying fruit and vegetables. They can and often inhabit ducting for air-conditioning. They are very common in potting mix which in Australia must be labeled with warning signs. You should wear gloves and mask and glasses when working with compost and potting mix.
bulletAspergillus derive their name from their shape which is similar to that of the device use by priests to spread holy water
bulletThere are more than 200 varieties of the Aspergillus species.
bulletAbout 20 of these varieties are harmful to humans. These include Aspergillus Fumigatus, Aspergillus Niger, Aspergillus Flavus, Aspergillus Terrus,
bulletTogether with certain varieties of other fungi they are termed Indoor Toxic Moulds.

What Aspergillus can do to you

bulletThese moulds reproduce by the spreading of spores
bulletThe fungi themselves or the spores can inhabit cavities in the body and especially in lesions caused by contact with even old scarring from contact with TB.
bulletIn these and other cavities in the body they may grow and form large colonies in a ball called an aspergilloma.This ball may do some damage but its acidic secretions will eat at the lung tissue itself
bulletThe fungi produce secretions called mycotoxins which can be more damaging than the fungi themselves as some can attack and dissolve tissue. 
bulletThese moulds may enter the body through ears, mouth, eyes or a cut, Usually the body defence systems attack them however illness or chemotherapy can fail to eliminate the fungi or their spores.


This is just one example:

Aflatoxin B1

Chemical Type: Dihydrodifuranocoumarin

Formula: C17H12O6

Produced by: Produced by Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, Aspergillus ochraceoroseus, Aspergillus pseudotamarii, Emericella venezuelensis, Aspergillus bombycis and Aspergillus nomius

Toxicity: Primarily an hepatotoxin and in some species, an hepatocarcinogen and mutagen. Toxic response depends on how the molecule is metabolised in the liver.

Possibly associated with human liver cancer in association with hepatitis B infection.

Aspergillus fumigatus is the most commonly isolated species which is harmful to humans, followed by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger. Aspergillus clavatus, Aspergillus glaucus group, Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus ustus, and Aspergillus versicolor are among the other species less commonly isolated as opportunistic pathogens.

Mycotoxins include metabolic by-products produced by a number of different fungi that may or may not be toxic. One of the mycotoxins, aflatoxin, is produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.  Four different aflatoxins, B1, B2, G1 and G2, have been identified with B1 being the most toxic, carcinogenic, hepatotoxic and potentially mutagenic, while also being the most prevalent.

Possible Biological Warfare Agent

To stress the significance of the component aflatoxin as a known carcinogen by the USA government,(there us every reason to believe that this information is and has been readily available to the Austrlian government and COMCARE as well)  the following expert on Iraq's declaration of biological weapons in 1998 according to this SIPRI fact sheet.

The discovery that Iraq was researching aflatoxin, not a traditional BW candidate, was a cause for some surprise. It is a carcinogen, the effects of which manifest themselves only after many years, and several Western experts have rationalized this Iraqi programme only in terms of genocidal goals. If aflatoxin were used against the Kurds, for instance, it would be impossible definitively to prove the use of BW once the symptoms emerged. Another possible explanation is its potential use as an immune suppressant, making victims more susceptible to other agents. However, the aflatoxin declaration may also hide other aspects of Iraq's BW programme: according to Iraq's depositions, the production programme never encountered any mishap


ABPA Allergic Bronchopulmanory Aspergillosis

bulletIf the body defence mechanisms fail or are unable to cope with the fungi or its spores the patient will have most or all of the symptoms ascribed to influenza.
bulletIf you immune system goes to work to fight off the invasion of the fungi. Guess what ? you gat exactly the same symptoms as influenza.


Aspergillus, Sinusitis & Asthma

bulletThere are studies which indicate that more than 90% of Sinusitis patients surveyed showed the presence of one or more varieties of Aspergillus in their nasal passages.
bulletAustralia is referred to as the Sinusitis and Asthma capital of the world
bulletA world wide study which included Australia conducted by the European Union has indicated a relationship between Aspergillus and deaths from Asthma.
bulletABPA is common in Asthmatics and affects more than 20% of Asthmatics. If untreated it can lead to permanent lung damage.
bulletThe Aspergillus Association of the UK speaking of Invasive Aspergillosis says "Sometimes the fungus can transfer from the lung through the blood stream to the brain and other organs, including the eye, the heart, the kidneys and the skin."

In the building you work in if it has a ducted air-conditioning system and it is older than 3 years. Insist that it have its ducting cleaned. It is not expensive. Your health should not have a price on it.

In the outdoor environment many indoor toxic moulds breed seasonally. In the air-conditioning they may increase in numbers in throughout the year.

It has come to my attention that COMCARE may be telling sufferers that they are the only ones in the country with the problem. THIS IS NOT SO. 


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Last modified: August 01, 2010

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