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Interesting Stuff I Discovered About Handling and Cleaning Corn

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by drizler, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    www.mold-help.org/content/view/662/


    Take a look at the link and you will see why you should treat handling corn more like handling insulation or machine sanding wood or vehicles in a garage. Anyone have any firsthand knowledge or experience with mold on corn and the hazards of breathing it ect? Personally I am going to start tossing the respirator on when I am cleaning mine like I do when sanding bondo. After reading up on the micotoxins present in corn, ( most specificly the fines and dust) I am going to rethink my basement corn bunker and store it outdoors where its safe. Reading up on it I am surprised that considering the adverse effects on the farm animals its fed to its amazing they are allowed to sell corn so nasty. Anyways at the very least the mold issue is worth knowing about and keeping in mind. If anyone has any "don't worry be happy" info besides defensive industry rhetoric I for one would love to hear it. I guess these days you need a respriator when handling anything that creates a lot of dust.

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  2. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I handle corn everyday. And we do it the 1940s way, ear corn stored in wire cribs, shoveled by hand into an old pickup and hauled to the feed mill. I wouldn't worry so much about shelled corn, like what you would use for a pellet stove. As long as it was dry enough to begin with and it's kept dry it shouldn't be any moldier than wood pellets. The ear corn in the crib gets quite moldy, but the worst problem is with the corn silage. That's the whole plant chopped up and put in the silo. Part of how that cures is it heats up and decays a little. It's always moldy. And I mean actual ankle deep mold growing on it! The mold from the silage, and some moldy hay bales, put me in the hospital last year, so I don't handle the silage anymore than I have to nowadays.

    When you are messing around with your shelled corn, it certainly doesn't hurt to wear a mask. Also be aware that if there is any mold in it, besides wearing a mask, it will be all over your clothes and the area that you are handling it in. Mold is everywhere and there isn't much you can do about it. If you see some that is obviously moldy, get rid of it! Otherwise, wear your mask and have fun cleaning your corn.
  3. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Quads is probably right. I'd almost be more inclined to wear the mask because of the particulates - you'll end up with corn lung or something. Those molds are common, and you probably have frequent exposure anyway.

    If you or a member of your family is acutely sensitive, obviously more care is needed. But if you're relatively typical people living in a somewhat less than sterile home, the mold probably isn;t the issue.

    Take a look around the elevator and see what those guys are doing. In the current legal environment, OSHA and everyone else is on their case to have ever precaution.

    Steve
  4. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    Thanks for the insite. I never saw any in the corn but like a lot of things its what you can't see that will get you. One thing to watch out for this year will be inadequate drying. With the price of propane there is always that incentive to do shortcuts. I know moldy hay can really screw you up royally. One of my coworkers built a Haloween display for his kids in the yard a few years back. He got some moldy hay for free and simply set up 3 bales with whatever goolies on it. A few days later he came down with a really nasty dose of Pneumonia that the Doc attributed to the mold on the hay. I guess with anything like that you have to keep an eye on its general condition and make allowances.
    For myself I tend to use a cheap respirator or mask in any dusty environment which is no big deal to me, just in case.
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