Dinner Table Conversation: What’s up with Rubber Duckies?

March 30, 2018

Scientists have been studying germs for decades. They want to know what causes germs to spread, how they live and grow, how to get rid of them, and whether all germs are bad. Yes, scientists want to know it all!

This week, a study by American and Swiss researchers confirmed something that may disappoint a lot of families: rubber duckies are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that may cause infections.

 Now, before you start throwing away every single bath toy, it’s worth understanding why scientists explore these things in the first place. In the case of rubber duckies, the findings, gross as they might be, help determine what type of material should be used to make bath toys. High-quality polymers, for example, will not release carbon that encourages the growth of bacteria. Helpful to know, right?

If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering: what else is sitting around the house breeding bacteria? Well, scientists recently discovered that kitchen dish sponges may have more than 350 types of bacteria and cellphones carry ten times more bacteria than … wait for it … toilet seats!

But not all bacteria are bad, and some may actually help beef up your immune system—go figure! According to scientists, what’s important is choosing products with high-quality materials and keeping those products clean that will help keep bad bacteria (and infections) away.