Having a collection of festival wristbands on your arm is a common practice among many avid festival adventurers, but a new study points out that this might actually be bad for your health. Who knew?
It's not hard to imagine that these old wristbands are extremely dirty, as many who have kept theirs on will know, they tend to smell horrid after a period of time. That being said, the smell is the least of your problems, because according to Dr. Allison Cottell at the University of Surrey, these old wristbands are a breeding ground for germs and contain over 20 times more bacteria than clothing.
In a study conducted by Dr. Cottell, researchers tested two samples. On one of the samples, which was a wristband that was worn on someone's wrist for two years, they found a concentration of almost 9,000 micrococci and 2,000 staphylococci. These microorganisms actually exist on our skin, but high levels such as this are rarely found.
Dr. Cottell went into further detail in order to explain the study: “Staphylococci are usually harmless although they can cause boils and infections of cuts and grazes, and can also cause a form of acute food poisoning if they are ingested. It would be advisable not to wear them if working in industries such as healthcare or food preparation, where there is a risk that the bacteria may spread to other people.”
With that in mind, we would think twice about wearing those festival wristbands after the event has concluded. It's best to save them some other way.