Reusable Water Bottles Hold More Bacteria Than Your Toilet Seat: What Study Says

Reusable bottles can hold 40,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat, the study added.

2 min read

Video Producer and Editor: Garima Sadhwani

The humble reusable water bottle, that is considered safe for both yourself and the environment – may not be the best bet for your health, points a new study.

The study from US-based revealed that reusable bottles can hold 40,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat – if not cleaned regularly. The study describes these bottles as a “portable petri dish.”

The big points:

  • Scientists first swabbed parts of different water bottles three times each – including the spout lid, straw lid, and the squeeze-top lid.

  • They found two types of bacteria present: Gram-negative rods and bacillus.

  • While gram-negative bacteria can cause infections that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, bacillus can result in gastrointestinal issues.

Turns out, your water bottle may actually contain twice as many germs as the kitchen sink, almost four times the amount of bacteria as a computer mouse, and 14 times more than a pet dog or cat's drinking bowl.

But Is This Unnecessary Alarm?

"I've never heard of someone getting sick from a water bottle. Similarly, taps are clearly not a problem: when did you last hear of someone getting ill from pouring a glass of water from a tap? Water bottles are likely to be contaminated with the bacteria that are already in people's mouths," Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, told New York Post.

According to the World Health Organisation, drinking contaminated water can be linked to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery – and can even cause vomiting, stomach ache, and in some cases, fever.

Scientists recommended washing reusable bottles at least once a day with hot soapy water, and sanitising them at least once a week.

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Topics:  videos   Bacteria 

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