Parents, beware of bath time rubber toys which contains bacteria and fungus, study says

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Research says variety of bacteria and fungus grow in low-quality bath-time toys
Research says variety of bacteria and fungus grow in low-quality bath-time toys

New Delhi : Swiss and American researchers say that cute yellow bath-time toys are home to pathogenic bacteria and therefore suggest parents to avoid them during their kids bath time. A research says that toys which are exposed to sweat, soap count high volume of bacteria and fungus which may lead to lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections in kids.

Researchers in America came to know that the bath time toys include microbes swimming inside which releases muddy liquid in the water. Ducks were squeezed and ``potentially pathogenic bacteria’’ were found in four out of the five toys studied. The bacteria found included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that is "often occupied in hospital-acquired infections,'' the authors said in a statement. 

The study was done by Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois and overall detail was published in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes. It was recognized as one of the first deeply scientific examinations of its kind. 

They counted high volume up to 75 million cells per square centimetre (0.15 square inch) and different varieties of bacteria and fungus in the toy ducks. 

Tap water doesn't usually promote the growth of bacteria, the scientists said, but low-quality polymers in the plastic materials give the nutrients, these bacteria need. Bodily fluids like urine and sweat and even soap in bathwater add microbes and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus and build gentle brine for bacteria. 

“We've found very big differences between different bath animals,'' said microbiologist and lead study author Lisa Neu, hinting at other types of bath toys like rubber crocodiles that also were analysed. ``One of the reasons was the material, because it releases carbon that can serve as food for the bacteria.'' 

The bacteria and fungus in the toys can lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections, the researchers said. Among the exposed users: Children ``who may enjoy squirting water from bath toys into their faces,'' a statement from the institute said. 

The scientists who research on household objects receive funding from the Swiss government. They suggest using higher-quality polymers to make the ducks could prevent bacterial and fungal growth.