Nationwide Problem: Serious Lung Infections Caused by Soil Fungi

HSA NEWSLETTER

December 8, 2022

Nationwide Problem: Serious Lung Infections Caused by Soil Fungi

During my college years, one of my last classes was an epidemiology class and one of the text books we used was titled “The Coming Plaque” (Laurie Garrett, 1994, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, https://www.lauriegarrett.com/the-coming-plague.) This book discussed, in-depth, the damage humans were causing primarily to ourselves, and to our planet, by de-forestation, developing rural lands, and digging deeper into the earth. This is an interesting article that documents the spread of soil bourne lung diseases, primarily caused by fungi throughout the United States (https://scitechdaily.com/nationwide-problem-serious-lung-infections-caused-by-soil-fungi/).
“The Coming Plaque” attributed several plagues to the de-forestation of undeveloped land, thereby releasing long dormant or previously unknown virulent forms of fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc., that can cause serious disease and ultimately plagues. This was all well before the concept of climate change came into our vernacular, which is also causing the spread of disease when, as an example, dead animals that were covered by snow or permafrost become accessible as the snow or permafrost melts, and if those animals died of anthrax, they could become the source of the spread of this deadly disease.

When contemplating developing previously raw or rural land, or land which is in an area that has been determined to be a source of bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc., that can cause potential lung disease issues, using a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) to create programs to protect your workers from these pathogens can make all of the difference in the world and can help keep your workers safe.