Pillows!

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Hi all: I know it's not technically home repair but I figured some of you might be able to help out.
I'm a reporter working on a story about recent research that shows old pillows are full of fungus. Ick.
Anyone out there with any icky old pillow stories? Or have you been meaning to buy new guest-room pillows for the last few decades? I'd love to speak with you.
Feel free to post back to the board or e-mail me directly.
Thanks!
Best Regards, Dru (http://www.newhouse.com/sefton.html )
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snipped-for-privacy@newhouse.com wrote:

How much of this article is going to reflect what our ancestors used before we had modern health measures and damp proof floors?
Sleeping in last year's hay, on an earth floor was probably seen as a vast improvement to sleeping on grass, in the rain and frost I suppose.
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Here's the research:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-10/uom-p-a101305.php
I'm still pondering exactly where the story will go. But I think consumers probably are wondering if they need to replace pillows and if so how often...
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Duh. Smell the pillow. If you don't like the smell, either clean it, or replace it. Strangely enough, with the exception of the japanese and certain segments of American society, this works for underwear, too.
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"Goedjn" wrote

You don't wash your underwear, unless it stinks? That underwear sniffing, is a sickness.
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snipped-for-privacy@newhouse.com wrote:

OH WoW!!
I must be very lucky to have lived the last 57 years using pillows and I am not dead yet.
I hate to tell you this, but your carpet is also full of fungus, as are your sheets, mattress etc. The world is full of fungus.
There are some areas where it becomes especially troublesome, like a hospital with those who have serious problems with their immune systems. Other than that, I would not get all worried.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Any questionable pillows I have go to the laundromat, into those huge front loading machines...with bleach, and then into those huge dryers set on the highest/hottest setting, with an old, clean sneaker. I'm then confident my pillows are pretty much germ, fungus, or whatever-free...
HTH, Brigitte

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On 17 Oct 2005 09:28:47 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@newhouse.com wrote:

Why don't you start by researching who is behind this "recent reasearch"? I suspect the real story lies there.
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As it says in the press release, "Researchers at The University of Manchester funded by the Fungal Research Trust."
More on that here:
http://www.fungalresearchtrust.org /
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I didn't notice any pillow manufacturers in their list of supporters.....did you?
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On 17 Oct 2005 10:52:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@newhouse.com wrote:

And so you stop there? You're either a troll or stupid. Go away.
Donors to this "trust":
1. Fujisawa Corporation - A pharmecutical company.
2. Oxford Glycosciences - A bio technology company.
3. F2G Ltd - Start-up company that specialises in the research and development for new treatments for serious fungal infections in man...
4.Chronic Granulomatous Disorder Research trust - A disease which affects 1 in every 1,000,000 people.
5. Aventis - The sanofi-aventis Group is the world's 3rd largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number 1 in Europe.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? Hint; Fungus was around before mankind. These people are just trying to make money by scaring people. If you don't see that then you need to have your ass fired for stupidity.
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wrote:

Let's get this straight. The research suggests the obvious: Pillows become fungus farms after a while. This would suggest to most sentient beings that it might be a good idea to either clean or replace their pillows periodically.
The sale of more pillows benefits pharmaceutical companies....how??? Seriously - let's say you're the world's foremost hypochondriac, but otherwise healthy. You go to your doctor and tell her you're convinced you're deathly ill because of your pillow. Your doctor's probably going to write you a prescription for a bottle of bourbon and a new pillow.
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 18:53:02 GMT, "Doug Kanter"
It doesn't, never said it did.

Or write you a script for some anti fungis medicne. Which is my point. These idiots that need to believe this stuff should just wash their damn pillows or but new ones, problem solved.
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wrote:

Believe this stuff? You're assuming the research is falsified? It did NOT find what it said it did?
As far as doctors and prescriptions, anyone who doesn't ask questions of their doctor when meds are prescribed.....I'll finish this with your words: "And so you stop there? You're either a troll or stupid. Go away."
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Most fungus is harmless and essential to life. We only react to it when we are shown biased depictions like magnified views of our skin and told that millions inhabit our pillows (without the context that this is completely normal). A benign fungus may in fact prevent a toxic fungus from flourishing.
Each person chooses a level of hygiene that they are comfortable with. I am sure your story will sell well to certain crowds like woman's magazines and health related publications (like the stuff in the doctors waiting room) but will be trite to the general newsreading public. Afterall pillow articles have got to be all fluff :) The information might help people choose between feather, cotton or polyester fabric and filling materials. In any case, it should not overly represent the fungus data.
Some research is really just obvious stuff that hasn't been technically documented yet. The researchers may have been just studying anything they could get a grant on and can write a paper about, there may or may not have been an agenda. Some people are always suspicious of basic research and compulsively look at the sponsors to concoct a conspiracy theory about it. Most basic research scientists, like journalists make great efforts to separate their work from the money that pays for it
I think most people are motivated to buy a new pillow when several factors intersect; They notice that it is discolored or smelly, that it is not so fluffy anymore, are at a store and happen to walk into the pillow isle, and have sufficient disposable income to upgrade the pillow this month. Either that or they have a specific need for a new one.
In any case, the sudden realization that the fungus that crawls over your body and floats in the air we breethe all day long has transferred to your pillow should not be a surprise to anyone. I would not replace a pillow that looked clean and serviceable just because some research said that after 1 year or so I had X amount of fungus inside.
The real opportunity here is for antifungal fabrics to make pillows out of or make pillowcases or other bedding. Already these coatings are appearing in other hard surfaced products like countertops (microban for example).
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snipped-for-privacy@newhouse.com wrote:

So far I have not seen any indication that all this fungus has been scientifically connected to a common problem. Considering how many people use pillows if there was a problem, I would expect there to be some connection, yet all I noticed was a few weak unsupported inferences.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
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wrote:

The article inferred that it was more of a problem with people whose health was already compromised in some way.
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Sorry to have caused such consternation here. The research is simply a starting point for a story.
Nope, I'm not a troll, I'm a features reporter who likes writing quirky stories. I'm not looking for some big investigation into funding of scientific research, and certainly didn't mean to get anyone on this list upset.
Again, my apologies. Goodbye.
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You're about to write a story which, to anyone who's taken courses in research methods, is meaningless. Where did you get your journalism degree?
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Oh for heaven's sake. As I explained, *it's a jumping off point*, a story idea.
I have BA in journalism, I've been in newspapers since 1982 (well, before if you count college and high school) and have since then worked at numerous papers including USA Today.
More on me in the link I posted in my original query:
http://www.newhouse.com/sefton.html
Again, sorry to upset anyone.
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