Rubber ducks might have potentially deadly bacteria inside them, scientists claim

Rubber ducks might have potentially deadly bacteria inside them, scientists claim

According to a new study, the popular bath toys are full of bacteria and fungi.

According to the researchers behind the study, anxious parents should either make sure they clean out their children's bathroom toys regularly or simply throw them away completely.

The rubber ducks study was carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich, and the University of IL, and was published Tuesday in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes.

Bugs found inside ducks and other plastic toys which squirt water included Legionella and drug-resistant superbugs.

"Mouldy bath toys are widely discussed in online forums and blogs, but they have received little scientific attention to date", Dr Frederik Hammes, study author, explained in a statement. The scientists said that tap water does not usually foster the growth of bacteria, but low-quality polymers in the plastic materials gave them the nutrients they need. Bodily fluids - like urine and sweat - as well as contaminants and even soap in bathwater add microbes and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus and create balmy brine for bacteria.

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The research study was published Tuesday in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes by the University of IL.

But regardless, a clear majority, 80% had potentially harmful bacteria cells.

Microbiologist and lead study author Lisa Neu said, "We've found big differences between different bath animals". However the bacteria that they found on the rubber ducks is far from safe for the kids. Kids usually squirt bath water on their and each other's faces and that could be unsafe they explain. The scientists say using higher-quality polymers to make the ducks could prevent bacterial and fungal growth.

The scientists discovered the bacteria by cutting open 19 toys that had been used at bath-time and carrying out controlled experiments on six identical bath toys in the laboratory.

"This could strengthen the immune system, which would be positive, but it can also result in eye, ear, or even gastrointestinal infections", he said".

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