Well, yes, apparently it is…. According to a report on EurekaAlert, quoting an article in Fungal Biology, ‘the extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances make these sites make perfect habitats for extremotolerant fungi’….
Researchers took samples from dishwashers (especially from the rubber bands around the doors) in private homes in 101 cities across 6 continents and found that 56% of them ‘accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis‘. Both of these alarming sounding yeasts are, apparently, just as alarming as they sound and can even occasionally ’cause fatal infections in healthy humans’….
And it appears that E.D and E.P have learnt to tolerate ‘the high heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and both acid and alkaline water’ which is to be found in the average dishwasher….
What to do?…. Well, they don’t actually make any helpful suggestions.
So are we back to those manky looking drying up cloths that, despite one’s washing machine’s best endeavours, never really look that wonderfully hygienic? But then, Fungal Biology suggests that although dishwashers are the worst offenders, Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis are also to be found in our washing machines and – now this is really serious – our coffee machines…… Oh no…….