Al Jazeera investigates the origins of ‘fungi of death’
Ghent wood product manufacturer Moslow Wood Products (MWP) has come under fire after a video showing workers digging up a corpse of a worker at a wood plant went viral.
The video was posted on YouTube on March 3, and sparked a nationwide outcry after the footage was uploaded to YouTube by a concerned citizen.
The company confirmed to Al Jazeera that the video was a “work-in-progress” that had not been submitted to the company for approval and had not undergone any research.
The videos have been viewed more than 10 million times since they were uploaded.
But according to a statement on the company’s website, it has received over 200,000 comments from people across the world who feel that the company has “violated” their ethical standards.
The incident comes amid a trend among manufacturers of wood products that have seen a rise in the prevalence of bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Some of the infections are believed to be linked to the use of plastic packaging, according to reports.
According to the American woodworking company A.J. Hoffmann, the prevalence and number of bacteria present in wood products has increased significantly in recent years.
“As we look at the growing prevalence of bacterial contamination in wood, we are not surprised to see a rise of new pathogens in wood product manufacture,” said Hoffmann.
“There are new pathogens that are developing rapidly and have become quite effective, such as Pseudomonas and Bacillus species that have been found in the wood we are using to build our wooden buildings.”
The rise of bacterial infections in wood has sparked a debate about whether the spread of these micro-colonies is linked to industrial use, which has led to increased contamination.
According in a statement to the Al Jazeera article, the use and misuse of wood has increased from 1% in 2008 to 4% in 2015.
The increase in wood production has led a number of countries to introduce restrictions and bans on industrial use of wood.
Some countries, such in the US and Canada, have introduced measures to prevent the spread and transmission of the micro-diseases.
However, these measures are not sufficient to address the problems of bacterial and fungal contamination of wood, according in a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wood Product Manufacturers Association (WPMOA).
The report highlighted the need to “urgently reevaluate” the use, production and transport of wood and to improve hygiene of workers.
In a statement, Hoffmann said that the outbreak of infection and the resulting pressure on companies to introduce measures to reduce the number of infections and increase the hygiene of their workers was a clear indicator of the need for an urgent reevaluation of the issue of wood contamination.
“We are aware that many of the woodworkers who have contracted the diseases that have occurred are not necessarily aware of the importance of avoiding and treating their workplace infections.
But we need to get to the bottom of this issue,” the statement said.