- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 28 March 2018, 11:12AM
Bath time will never be the same again...
Because while your rubber duck may appear innocent, it's actually swarming with bacteria that could make you seriously sick or even kill.
Well, that's what research says.
According to the Daily Mail, the popular bath companion - and other plastic toys that can squirt water - pose a risk to health.
Following a study, it was discovered bath toys that sit around in the warm, humid bathroom environment provides an ideal breeding ground for bugs - with ‘dense growths of bacteria and fungi’ building up on the inside of the ducks.
The researchers found that the bacteria thrived on the plastic surfaces of the toys that could lead to eye, ear or stomach infections.
Plus, squirting the murky water that builds up inside these toys could expose children and adults to dangerous bacteria.
Researchers carried out controlled experiments on toys over 11 weeks, simulating typical bath times.
They exposed the toys to dirty bath water, soap, sweat and urine.
In addition, they also collected bath toys from real households as part of the experiment.
All the bath toys were cut open and analysed in the laboratory.
Some 80 per cent of all the studied toys contained potentially dangerous bacteria.
As well as Legionella, the researchers found Pseudonomas aeruginosa; a drug-resistant ‘superbug’ that can be deadly, particularly in people with weak immune systems.
It was also revealed that the plastic helped nourish the bugs - releasing carbon compounds they can eat.
Dr Frederik Hammes, one of the authors, said bath toys are extremely interesting for researchers. Particularly highlighting how plastic items can be an incubator for bacteria - posing a risk to the vulnerable, particularly children who may enjoy squirting water from bath toys into their faces.
Dr Hammes says: "This could strengthen the immune system, which could be positive, but it can also result in eye, ear, or even gastrointestinal infections."
Experts say that options for parents concerned could range from banning bath toys altogether, or less drastically, avoid toys that allow filthy water to accumulate inside.
This article was first published on dailymail.co.uk and is republished here with permission.