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Why an Harmless Rubber Duck Can Be Harmful for Your Baby


Cute yellow rubber geese are in all probability one among the preferred bathtub toys for kids. It’s laborious to consider that generally these toys, which might be fairly harmless on the skin, could be ugly ducklings that may pose a actual risk to our kids. It’s all in regards to the darkish aspect of rubber geese that we don’t really see.

Right here at Brilliant Facet, we appeared inside a rubber duck along with scientists to discover out what these bathtub toys are hiding.

If you narrow a rubber duck that’s been used for a whereas in half, it’s possible you’ll be shocked.

Considered one of one of the best issues about taking part in with a rubber duck in a bathtub is the squirting impact that entertains youngsters. However what actually occurs when water will get inside a rubber toy?

It seems, {that a} heat and humid toilet creates the good circumstances for micro organism and fungi to develop, and bathtub toys aren’t any exception. With time, the inside floor of the toy will get contaminated after which all these micro organism and fungi get out of the toy when the kid squeezes it.

A group of scientists from Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Expertise), ETH Zurich (a public analysis college in the town of Zürich), and the College of Illinois have studied this downside. They did experiments with used bathtub toys and new bathtub toys after simulating their 11-week-old use in family circumstances. Then the researchers cut the toys to have a nearer have a look at their inside floor.

A used rubber duck can have between 5 million and 75 million cells of fungi and micro organism per 0.155 sq. inch of its inside floor.

Relying on the experiment circumstances, the inside floor of the minimize rubber geese contained from 5 million to 75 million cells of fungi and micro organism per 0.155 sq. inch (1 sq. centimeter). Probably pathogenic micro organism that have been discovered throughout the analysis included Legionella.

So what’s the rationale that fungi and micro organism develop inside bathtub toys? Based on researchers, the plastic supplies that these toys are fabricated from are to blame. Very often these supplies are fabricated from poor high quality, and so they can “launch substantial quantities of natural carbon compounds.”

It will get even worse when different bathing factors are added. Let’s think about what actually occurs when a child is taking part in with a rubber duck in a bathtub. The supplies of the toy permit micro organism and fungi to develop, the water itself will get contaminated with micro organism from the human physique, exterior grime, and traces of private care merchandise. Youngsters, whose well being is nonetheless susceptible, squirt the water from the within of the toy and are available into contact with that soiled water. That is true not just for geese, of course, however for different bathtub toys of the identical sort, fabricated from related supplies.

With Eawag’s permission, we’re posting the photographs of minimize used rubber geese above and beneath to present you, how these well-liked toys can look inside after getting used.

Talking in regards to the potential well being hazard of rubber geese, Frederik Hammes from Eawag notes: “This might strengthen the immune system, which might be optimistic, nevertheless it may end in eye, ear, or even gastrointestinal infections.”

Considered one of the options might be simply closing the outlet if you purchase the duck, so that the water by no means will get inside. However Frederik Hammes is positive that we must solve the issue of bathtub toys which might be fabricated from threatening supplies in the primary place and implement stricter rules for them.

You possibly can see the Eawag video that exhibits the within of used rubber geese here.

Do you know that some bathtub toys can put youngsters’ well being at threat? Do your youngsters play with rubber toys whereas bathing?

Preview photograph credit score Eawag