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It turns out the cute, harmless-looking rubber ducky floating around in your bathtub may actually be a Trojan horse for ravenous legions of “potentially pathogenic bacteria.”

That’s the conclusion of a recent study by a research team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich, and the University of Illinois published this week in the journal N.P.J. Biofilms and Microbiomes , per the New York Times . The researchers wrote they collected “19 real bath toys (e.g., rubber ducks) from five different Swiss households” and then compared them to a control group, eventually concluding that the real bath toys had up to 75 million bacterial cells per square centimeter of interior surface.

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According to the Times , Furtwangen University in Germany microbiologist Markus Egert told them, “That’s the same density of bacteria you can find in human stool samples. There are probably no other places on earth with such high bacterial densities.”

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University of Arizona microbiology professor Chuck Gerba says toilet seats—which are much cleaner than the public may imagine—have about 50 fecal bacteria per square inch.)

The study found the the low-quality plastic polymers used to manufacture the ducks release carbon over time, providing an important source of nutrition for bacteria. This is compounded by dirty bath water full of nutrients like “personal care products, but also body fluids like urine and sweat,” the researchers wrote, and “both human microbiota and environmental bacteria that are released during bathing.” The result is colonies of not just potentially infectious bacteria like Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, but also fungi, all of which could pose an undetermined risk to ducky users:

... Bath toys are typically used by children, who are potentially sensitive and vulnerable users. Squeezing water with chunks of biofilm into their faces (which is not unexpected behavior for these users) may result in eye, ear, wound or even gastro-intestinal tract infections. To assess the real extent of this risk, more experimental work with specific focus on hygienic aspects is needed.

Given that one of the recommendations given by the researchers is to boil rubber duckies after use, it may simply be easier to just avoid them entirely. The research team noted that simply cleaning the ducks is not enough, because the surviving bacteria tends to be stronger.

In any case, this makes all those giant rubber ducks sometimes floated out into the rivers of major cities all the more ominous. Spare us, oh avatars of pestilence, for we know not what we have summoned!

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By Modal Scarf whispers by VIDA VIDA jAQRjkL
July 2, 2018 9:56 pm


By: Andrew Joseph | July 2, 2018 9:56 pm

LeBron James’ decision to make his move to the Lakers had the potential threaten the Warriors reign atop the Western Conference. But as the Lakers were adding logo mini zipped wallet Black Prada fepxadlI3
, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, the Warriors added a fifth All-Star to their starting lineup.

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should solidify Golden State’s spot as the favorites in the West, which brought Sixers center Joel Embiid to an important realization:

LeBron can still change his mind … technically.

The Lakers can’t officially sign LeBron until July 6, so there’s nothing binding him to the Lakers. After the Cousins news broke, Embiid took to Twitter to throw one last Hail Mary at LeBron.

There’s still time to change your mind lol

— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid)

Let’s pull a DeAndre Jordan and just Trust it

By all indications, LeBron is set on the Lakers and won’t renege on his decision. But if — big IF — he did change his mind and joined the Sixers, he would have a far more favorable path to the NBA Finals out of the East.

big IF

A LeBron Decision 3.1 almost certainly won’t happen, but Embiid is inspired. The recruitment will continue until that Lakers contract is signed.

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Andrew Joseph is a writer at For The Win. He's the proud owner of a Johnny Estrada bobblehead, and he once shared an elevator with Matthew McConaughey.

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July 4, 2018 4:38 pm · Nina Mandell

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