Study finds that refillable water bottles are fertile growing ground for bacteria

Reprinted from Toronto Sun.

Gazette Introductory Note: We recommend that as you read this you try to remember any recent accounts you’ve heard of outbreaks of illness resulting from the use of refillable water bottles. Remember that we live in an ocean of bacteria. It isn’t remarkable that water bottles are teeming with microorganisms; it would be remarkable if they weren’t. –Hardly Waite.

You need to keep hydrated at the gym so you chug water from a refillable water bottle.

You might want to think twice before doing that.

According to a study by Treadmill Reviews, reusable water bottles contain high levels of human-harming bacteria. Swabbing four different bottle styles, the study found the containers were crawling with more than 300,000 colony-forming bacteria units per square centimetre.

Conclusion: drinking from a refillable bottle may be worse than licking a dog’s toy, the U.K. Sun reported.

The study detected that the average water bottle had 313,499 CFU (colony-forming units of bacteria) compared to 2,937 CFU found on a dog’s toy.

Bottles with a slide-top spout contained the most germs with an average of 933,340 CFU.

Squeeze-top bottles are just as harmful with an average germ count of 161,971 CFC.

Screw-top lid bottles aren’t as bad with 159,060 CFU. Surprisingly, the least harmful were straw-top bottles with a fraction of an average compared to others at just 25.4 CFU.

While squeeze-tops weren’t as harmful as its slide-top counterparts, almost 99% of bacteria found on the bottle contained harmful traces of antibiotic-immune bacteria like E.coli, the study suggested.

Overall more than 60% of germs found on water bottles can make people sick.

The study’s researchers suggested using straw-tops or stainless steel bottles over plastic ones. Researchers also recommend not letting a half drunk bottle sit unattended for weeks.

Bottles should also be hand washed with a weak bleach solution or cleaned via dishwasher.

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