Is anyone surprised that mold is tough to kill?

Is anyone surprised that mold is tough to kill?

Photo of Aspergillus Niger    Aspergillus Niger

Astronauts on the International Space Station are in a constant battle against mold inside their living environment and it’s toughness is a real problem.

Recently, a German microbiologist conducted a set of experiments whereby hard x-rays and heavy ions were focused on a sample of a common mold, Aspergillus Niger. In fact, the level of radiation aimed at the sample was at least 200 times the radiation dose that would kill a human.

It survived without any damage.

International Space Station

This poses a problem in space where mold grows inside the station on walls and equipment. Further, astronauts are concerned that because of its hardiness, mold may end up inadvertently hitchhiking on spacecraft that are being sent out into space to land on Mars or other planetary bodies.

And not only did it survive hard X-rays, it survived being bathed in UV light, a common method of sterilizing the exterior surfaces of spacecraft.

And what about the endlessly cold dead vacuum of space? Forget it, mold actually loves it. There’s evidence that radiation resistance actually increased when exposed to a vacuum.

Astronauts on the station go through extraordinary lengths to control and limit the transmission of mold spores, both internally and externally. And not just because mold poses a health hazard to astronauts, astronauts must follow recommended planetary protection protocols to protect against contaminating other planets. See https://sma.nasa.gov/sma-disciplines/planetary-protection to understand just how stringent cleaning and disinfection must be conducted by NASA.

Here are a few interesting links outlining the constant and ongoing battle against mold contamination on the ISS.

https://www.space.com/fungi-survive-high-dosage-radiation-iss.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/international-space-station-mould-1.5193970

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

The research touches on this, and it warns astronauts to follow recommended planetary protection protocols designed to prevent visiting spacecraft from contaminating other planets and moons in our solar system with microorganisms from Earth. The study suggests that, because of the risk of contamination, these fungal spores may need to be considered a more serious threat.

If you're going to kill mold do it the right way!

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Maple Leaf Mold Inc. is a IICRC certified mold / indoor air testing and mold / asbestos removal firm operating in Toronto and the surrounding area. We are an experienced, licensed firm who are experts in finding and removing mold and asbestos. Call 416-254-7256 to talk with us about your issue anytime.

 

 

 

 

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