If you collect your music festival wristbands or leave them on to savour your festival memories, you might not want to read on. Actually, scratch that, science needs to tell you just how dirty — and even dangerous — your habit could be.
As The Mirror reports, a study by microbiology professor Dr Alison Cottell from the University of Surrey has found that old festival wristbands can contain more than 20 times the amount of bacteria normally found on our clothes, and those bacteria can be dangerous.
Two wristbands which have sat on the wrist of one festival-goer since 2013 have been examined, and were found to contain around 9,000 micrococci and 2,000 staphylococci bacteria — i.e. a helluva lot of bad microscopic vibes.
Dr Cottell says the bacteria, which can be found on the skin, can cause health problems. “Staphylococci are usually harmless but can cause boils and also infect cuts and grazes,” Dr Cottell says. “They can also cause acute food poisoning if they are ingested.” Nasty stuff.
“Infections are most likely to affect the ability of cuts and grazes to heal. More serious but rare complications include septicaemia.”
So what’s Dr Cottell’s advice for the wristband-loving festival-goers among us? “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.”
Around 175,000 people will be at Glastonbury Festival this weekend, as their wristbands slowly begin to play host to thousands of gross microorganisms.
And with Splendour In The Grass 2015 only a few weeks away, hopefully we can all take Dr Cottell’s advice on board, and even learn from the mistakes of others in the clip below.
Watch: 19 Attempts At Removing A Festival Wristband