Everyone seems to have some degree of awareness about the current resistant bacterial strains of diseases and currently nicknamed "superbugs". Well now convetional gardening practices are creating superfungus strains.
Now to most people this isn't really a big deal. Aspergillus is a genus that covers several hundred types of fungus, of which only a few dozen are pathogens to people. Some strains get used to ferment foods, some strains create the moldy spots on your bread and produce. It is one of the major fungi in compost heaps.
While healthy adults and in general most healthy people's immune systems are able to handle the several hundred spores we inhale daily.. those with compromised immune systems can't. Although it is relatively rare, a big enough dose of spores can mess with a healthy person.
This is the problem.. by dousing areas with fungicides the results are the same as the planet mass dosing with antibiotics.. resistances develop. While using fungicides is more widely used in some areas of Europe, it is as well done in the States (granted to a lesser degree).
Aspergillus fumigatus is a strain in particular that has been scientifically proven to be resistant to several fungicides. Birds in particular are susceptible to developing respiratory infections and yes, this is one of the strains at work in the compost heap.
I actually knew someone who was healthy and contacted this. They think his exposure was from when he was digging a new well for his hunting cabin in Wisconsin. The spores were in such a large quantity that they basically invaded his lungs and set up shop. He's fine the last I heard (he is one of my sister's ex-boyfriends) but it took a toll as he did have damage to his lungs.
To me.. this is just another reason to garden organically. The last thing we need is another resistant strain to a highly prevalent potential pathogen.