Clean inside those bagpipes — and trumpets and clarinets | Science News

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Clean inside those bagpipes — and trumpets and clarinets

Dangerous yeasts and molds can flourish in wind instruments

By
7:00am, August 26, 2016
bagpipes

CLEAN THOSE PIPES  Inside the dark, moist interior of bagpipes, fungi can grow and potentially infect the lungs of people who play.

Bagpipe lung
\BAGpīp ləng\ n.

An inflammatory lung disease caused by regular inhalation of fungi living inside bagpipes.

In 2014, a 61-year-old man died after seven years of a mysterious illness that left him breathless, with a dry cough.

Doctors diagnosed him with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a rare disease caused by breathing in particles that irritate lung tissues. It’s also known as bird fancier’s lung, humidifier lung and hot tub lung, among other names. But the patient had no known exposure to birds, nor to household molds that can trigger the disorder.

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