Reusable water bottles contain more bacteria than toilet seats do, says study

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Research reveals exponential amount of germs present in reusable bottles.

Making the sustainable decision to carry around and drink from reusable water bottles might not be the cleanest choice ever.

Reusable water bottles hold 40,000 times more bacteria than do toilet seats, a recent study from WaterFilterGuru of Denver, Colorado, revealed.

After swabbing several different reusable water bottles (and different parts of the bottles), researchers found two types of bacteria present — gram-negative rods and bacillus.

Gram-negative rods are commonly associated with hospital-acquired infections and are increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics, the study noted.

A new study has found that most reusable water bottles hold 20.8 million CFUs, or colony-forming units — which estimates the number of living microbes on a sample.  (iStock )

Bacillus can potentially be helpful as a probiotic, but it can also be food-spoiling and disease-causing, and can lead to gastrointestinal issues.

Reusable water bottles held an average of 20.8 million CFUs, or colony-forming units, which estimates the number of living microbes on a sample.

Of all the water bottle types, those with spout-top and screw-top lids contained the most bacteria, with 30 million CFUs each, the study found.

Researchers discovered the same number of CFUs after testing a tap water faucet as well.

Two women are shown holding reusable water bottles — on the left, a screw-top version, and on the right, a spout-top bottle. (iStock)


The research team at WaterFilterGuru, the organization says, “focuses on the latest in water quality, pollution and residential water treatment. The quality and safety of water varies widely by region, city and even neighborhood.”

It adds on its website that it partners with “research institutions and other organizations” to increase Americans’ “awareness and understanding” of water quality.

While comparing water bottles to sink taps, the group compared reusable bottles to other household items as well.

Bacteria is one of four pollutants that may be present in water coming out of taps, the study reported, even though U.S. tap water is considered among the safest compared to tap water in the rest of the world.



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