In response to an enquiry from a member of the public on social media recently, we explained that we could not accept her donation of used duvets. In our response, we explained that with the masses of donations received over the recent weeks has given us a storage problem and of course, duvets become a problem in wet weather. Within our FAQ page we also explain that there is a hygiene issue, but it seems that local social media groups on Facebook seem to be ridiculing charities for not accepting such bedding. Please let us further explain.
Hygiene and safety is a huge consideration with large thick bedding items. Aspergillosis is the umbrella name for the conditions caused by the common mould aspergillosis fumigatus. Sleeping on duvets and pillows that get cold and damp and do not have the opportunity to dry out through the winter months, can be a breeding ground for these spores.
The mould gives off microscopic particles, spores, that are extremely light and float easily in the air. This is how the mould spreads, when the spores germinate, they develop into full-grown green and white fungus and if inhaled, can cause serious infection of the lungs. Leading to many problems.
Such items that are big or heavy, are difficult for rough sleepers to launder which compounds the issue of this mould. Therefore we have made the decision not to offer thick heavy bedding to our clients.