Expert shares grim reality of keeping rubber ducks in the bath
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Featured Image Credit: drcameronjones/facebook
Rubber duckies have been a staple of bathtime for decades, but the erstwhile companion in the tub may do more harm than good.
The rubber duck was first invented in the late 1800s by Charles Goodyear and they've been a bathtime essential ever since.
Contrary to the name modern rubber ducks are not in fact made of rubber, but commonly manufactured from cheap plastics.
This makes them float and squeezable so you can squirt out water in between soaping yourself.
But you might want to think twice before squirting out that water, one expert has now revealed on Facebook.
There is unfortunately more than meets the eye to everyone's favourite bathtub companion.
Cutting open one of the ducks reveals a whole host of slime and grime which has made a home inside. But how on earth did it get there?
Expert Cameron Jones has issued an explanation as to how so much grime found its way inside.
If you want a clue as to the explanation, Dr Jones' particular area of expertise is as a microbiologist. That can't be a good sign.
It turns out that the contents of the rubber ducks are not dirt and grime, but colonies of bacteria which have grown inside there over time.
The warm and damp conditions in a bathroom combined with the shelter provided by the interior of a plastic bath toy are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And we're not just talking a few here, we're talking a whole bunch of slime.
Dr Jones explained that there is a name for the slime. It's called 'biofilm', which is somehow worse.
Biofilm is made up of fungi, bacteria, and yeast, and can contain harmful micro-organisms.
The Australian doctor explained: "Biofilms are, in fact, a whole host of different microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and moulds, that stick to each other and form a slimy substance to help them survive and multiply.
"What's shocking is that this is not just a one-off or a particularly old toy. Research found that 70 percent of bath toys contained the same black, slimy biofilm, and it could potentially be very harmful."
He also conducted lab tests, taking a sample from inside a rubber duck and watching how a colony of micro-organisms grew in a Petri dish from the sample.
In it he found several types of bacteria, and one type in particular was of concern. This was called 'Pseudomonas aeruginosa', and can cause sepsis, inflammation, UTIs, and gastrointestinal infections.
While it's unlikely you're going to be drinking the water - at least I hope it's unlikely - there are other ways bacteria can enter your body. For example, Dr Jones reported that a mum had said her child developed an infection after squirting water in their eye.
You can sterilise out your ducks if you absolutely insist on their company in the tub, but otherwise it might be best to seal them up and certainly avoid squirting out the water.
For more information about it, you can see the full video here.