Smartwatch Band May Have Dangerous Bacteria

Smartwatch Band May Have Dangerous Bacteria

In a recent study, Albawaba discovered an unexpected irony: The bands that attach these devices to our wrists contain harmful bacteria that can harm our health.

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) conducted a study that examined bacterial contamination of various smartwatch straps, highlighting the potential health risks associated with wearing these straps without proper hygiene practices.

The FAU study, published in the scientific journal Advances in Infectious Diseases, looked at different types of smartwatches from popular brands like Fitbit and Apple Watch.

The researchers sought to determine if there was a correlation between the material on the strip and the buildup of bacteria. The results of the study were surprising and disturbing.

It was found that 95% of the bracelets tested were contaminated with harmful bacteria. Among the most frequently detected bacteria are Staphylococcus spp., responsible for staphylococcal infections, present in 85% of the group.

In addition, 60% of the group contained E. coli and 30% Pseudomonas spp, which are known to cause pneumonia.

smart watch strap

This study also examines the behavior of different materials in terms of bacterial accumulation. Cloth tape was found to be the worst at accumulating bacteria, followed by plastic, rubber and leather.

Metallic bands such as gold and silver show the lowest levels of bacterial contamination.

The researchers point out that the porous and static nature of plastic and rubber creates an ideal environment for microbial growth.

A promising aspect of this research is the study of the method of their sterilization. The researchers found that a disinfectant spray of Lysol and 70% ethanol, commonly found in alcohol wipes, was effective in killing 99.99% of bacteria in 30 seconds, regardless of the material.

This shows that regular cleaning with this disinfectant can significantly reduce the risk of bacterial contamination of the smartwatch band.

While disinfection can effectively reduce the risk of bacteria buildup, the research has raised concerns about the actual hygiene practices of smartwatch users.

Many people wear their smart watches almost 24/7 and may forget to clean them regularly, especially after exercising. Participants who exercised while wearing the smartwatch showed the highest levels of bacterial contamination.

This study found no significant gender differences in the results.

In light of these findings, lead author Nwadiuta Esiobu, Ph.D., emphasized the need for regular cleaning of smartwatch bands.

The number and type of bacteria found in this band highlight its potential importance to public health. Users should ensure that maintaining proper hygiene, such as regularly cleaning smartwatch bands, is key to preventing unwanted infections.

That's what the little crescent moon under our fingernails means.

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