A favorite company in any child’s bath, rubber ducks are known to be full of bacteria inside.
Who has never taken a bath with one of those beloved and famous rubber ducks yellow? This is one of the most famous toys in the world, especially when filling a bathtub with water. However, one study concluded that seemingly harmless companions are, after all, very dangerous for health.
The research was carried out by Swiss and American scientists and showed that the inside of rubber ducks is full of bacteria and fungi capable of infecting anyone who comes into contact with them.
Other toys of the same type and used under the same conditions also run the risk of being a danger to human health.
The Dark Side of Rubber Duckies
But, after all, what makes this toy such an object conducive to the development of harmful microorganisms? Bathrooms are spaces subject to wide temperature variations, largely thanks to the steam from the baths, so they are often hot and humid.
These are exactly the ideal conditions for the formation of bacteria and fungi present in rubber ducks, as it happens, for example, in shower curtains.
The duck material seems to be the perfect environment for this happening. These animals are made with poor quality polymers, which release organic carbon compounds. So, inside, they get to harbor colonies of these organismsas well as a black liquid that is released when the toy is squeezed in normal children’s games.
If the scenario already seems scary, get ready, because it gets worse. The bacteria present in rubber ducks include Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, closely associated with hospital infections, and the so famous and feared Legionella. These are bacteria capable of great damage when they attack immune systems debilitated, and may even lead to death.
Ducks also develop species of fungus that, when mixed with certain bacteria, give rise to a mold that spreads through the toy and can be very harmful to health.
The study and conclusions
For their analysis, the researchers placed some rubber ducks in clean water and others in used bath water and therefore with soap and dirt from the human body. In both experiments, new toys were used, which were in water for three months. At the end of this period, they were cut in half and examined in depth.
The investigation concluded that more than 80% of objects studied that were in dirty water contained bacteria potentially pathogenic, such as those already mentioned.
On the other hand, 60% of the toys also had fungi, together with bacteria. Altogether, between 5 and 75 million cells were found on each square centimeter of the yellow dolls’ rubber surface.
The solution to this problem is to buy toys whose brands use superior quality rubber. Investigators concluded that a single cleaning does not resolve the issue.
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