Many parents use the popular rubber ducks as ways to entertain or distract their children while they are taking a bath. Unfortunately, a new study, which the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes recently published, found that these toys are actually a heaven for bacteria. According to the team of researchers, the liquid that the rubber duck releases when squeezed contains “potentially pathogenic bacteria” in four out of five such toys. The authors also said that they found bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is usually acquired in hospitals, and Legionella.
According to lead study author Lisa Neu, different types of bath animals carry different amounts and types of bacteria. The bottom line is that none of them are completely safe. The main reason why this is happening is the material the toys are made from. It releases carbon and bacteria absolutely adore it and see it as food. It seems that the team discovered up to 75m cells per square centimeter. This is an incredibly large number of bacteria. In the ducks, they also discovered fungus that is also very dangerous.
Rubber ducks and other bath toys are dangerous
It’s worth noting that the experts have said that it’s not the tap water that’s facilitating the growth of bacteria. Instead, it’s the rubber and low-quality plastics that the toys are made from. These offer exactly the nutrients that bacteria need to survive and grow. Apart from this, bodily fluids in the water as well as soap add nutrients and microbes which create a heaven for bacteria.
Certain bacteria can indeed help a child develop the immune system, but some can lead to severe eye, ear and even intestinal infections. But what can we do about this, apart from stop suing these toys? It seems that a higher-quality material should be used for bath toys from now on. A good-quality polymer could prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.
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