Rubber ducks are a classic component of the stereotypical bath and have made an impact on numerous individual’s lives. Yet with its constant presence in our bathing rituals and lives, an uncomfortable subject may inadvertently emerge; how clean/safe is this object. According to a study by American and Swiss researchers, toy ducks appear to be a breeding ground for microbes and bacteria like Legionella. In the study, water released from four out of every five ducks found Legionella along with other Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, a fairly disturbing frequency.
The study, which was conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois, was published this past Tuesday in the journal N.P.J. Biofilms and Microbiomes and featured researchers testing a range of bath toys. With the rubber ducks, they found 75 million cells of bacteria per square centimeter — a high level that scientists say was the result of their polymer material releasing carbon.
The researchers suggest that using higher-quality polymer to make rubber ducks might prevent bacterial growth. The study received funding from the Swiss government and is part of a broader research project examining bacteria and household objects.
Now that level of 75 million cells of bacteria per square centimeter is a disturbing level however compared to a kitchen sponge or even a cell phone, it is not actually that high. Even so, the results are a bit nerve racking mainly because rubber ducks represent such a pivotal object of affection for many children; as such, any potential suggestions towards safety, such as using a higher-quality polymer, should at least be considered.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.