There’s Always Room For Panic: Your Dishwasher is Trying To Kill You
Modern convenience apparently comes with a bit more of a price tag than we (mostly) thought. It seems that extremophiles (those critters that can survive damn near anything) may be alive and well in a few of the common appliances that most of us have in our homes.
Awesome. It’s basically like a pet that you can’t see but could potentially kill you.
Here’s a quote from a press release about our newly found buddies:
Modern living comes with an increasing need for electrical household equipment such as dishwashers, washing machines and coffee machines. A characteristic of these appliances is a moist and hot environment. In the case of dishwashers, high temperatures between 60º to 80ºC are intermittently produced and aggressive detergents and high concentrations of salt are used in each washing cycle.
The article focuses on the occurrence of potentially pathogenic fungal flora located in dishwashers, over a sample of private homes from 101 cities on 6 continents. 62% of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56% of which accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water. This is a combination of extreme properties not previously observed in fungi.
This, of course makes those of us who still hand wash dishes a bit happier over not having the modern ‘conveniences’ but hey- there’s no reason to feel left out, the extremophiles are also potentially in washing machines too (as quoted above).
I’m a tad upset that they are after my much needed coffee machine. But, hey now we can say we’re that extreme. Which granted, is a very small consolation for having these critters around but at this point it’s still surprising nature hasn’t just shaken us all off the Earth as it is.