Molds in biowaste

Mold fungi are present in the environment both in the whole world and on various media and substrates. A particularly nutrient-rich substrate is the organic household waste or biowaste. Here, food scraps, fruit bowls, kitchen towels or garden waste such as grass and green waste are collected.

What are molds?

Molds are so-called saprophytes, ie they feed on dead organic matter as they are eg. B. in foliage and plant parts, house dust and the soil occurs. Their highly variable and adaptable metabolism allows them to use a wide range of organic nutrients.

Household and organic waste molds provide a wealth of nutrients such as sugar, amino acids, cellulose and fats. In addition, the high moisture content of the material promotes microbial growth.

Danger from fungal spores

Since plant parts are naturally colonized by mold and the outside air always carries a certain amount of mold spores, biowaste is quickly colonized and used as a substrate. There is an increase of mold fungi in the bio-waste bin and the organic waste is decomposed by the fungus metabolism. This is used in composting in your own garden or on a large scale in municipal facilities.

However, the proliferation of mold in biowaste also carries risks. Due to the high metabolic activity, the molds release more heat. Similarly, people experience high levels of exercise or physical activity. This heat requires that certain heat-loving (thermophilic) molds are particularly promoted and accumulate in biowaste.

Unfortunately, some of these thermophilic or thermotolerant molds also include some human pathogens, such as e.g. Aspergillus fumigatus. The ability to grow at temperatures of 37 ° C gives them the ability to colonize the human body and cause infections. In particular, the skin, mucous membranes and respiratory tract can be affected here. Also allergic reactions can occur more often.

Increased mold fungus concentration

In summer, the growth and proliferation of heat-loving molds is already supported by the increased outdoor temperatures and high humidity. Therefore, the biowaste molds particularly fast and already in the storage in the small bio bin in the domestic kitchen, it can lead to increased mold fungus concentrations.

With every opening of the bio bin, thousands to millions of fungal spores can be released. A slight increase in fungal concentration in the kitchen air is therefore not uncommon in summer. It should not exceed a certain extent.

Empty the bio-waste bin regularly

Because these fungal spores can be the trigger for infections or allergic diseases. In addition, they can distribute themselves in the apartment and other substrates such. B. colonize potting soil, which can then occur as another source of mold. For this reason, it is advisable to empty the biological waste container or the collection container for biowaste in the kitchen as often as possible or to dispose of the biowaste directly into the bio waste bin in the outdoor area. Especially in the summer should be paid to a regular emptying.

Scientific studies have shown that garbage workers, especially in the summer increasingly suffer from diseases caused by the disposal of organic waste. It is reported disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, irritation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and throat and allergic symptoms of the respiratory tract. Also, a higher incidence of Aspergillus fumigatus and bacteria in biowaste has been documented for the summer months. Source: enius AG

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