Pillows piled high with germs

GermsBelieve it or not, our pillows can be more of a hotbed for germs than even our bathrooms.

Ellen Bass has a family full of allergies.

That's why she is obsessed with keeping every room free of dust and mold.

But germ experts say -- hidden inside family homes like this one -- are colonies of nasty allergens. They are thriving in the most unlikely of places -- the pillows on your bed.

"I've seen people with pillows that were loaded with microorganisms," said Dr. Philip Tierno, a New York University microbiologist.

He said as pillows absorb germs from our skin and the air, they become a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and dust mites.

The older your pillows are, the more likely they're contaminated. The bass family hasn't replaced their pillows in eight years.

To find out what was lurking inside, the pillows were bagged and taken To Dr. Tierno's lab -- where he tested each one for fungus and bacteria.

In the kids' pillows, I found fungal mold," Tierno said.

So how do you protect yourself? Dr. Tierno says it's simple: use an allergen-proof cover like this one on every bed pillow.

It's advised you replace your pillows every two years, but it can be expensive. Your best bet is to buy pillow protectors so you can keep your pillows as long as you want.

Video after the jump.

Video & Source: Keytv
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