WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Tooting another's horn
may pose a health threat to children participating in their
school's band, a new study suggests.
Researchers tested 13 instruments used in a high school band and
found they were heavily contaminated with different kinds of
bacteria and fungi, many of which are associated with minor to
serious infections and allergic diseases.
The researchers identified 442 different bacteria -- including
many that can cause staph infections -- along with 58 molds and 19
yeasts. Mold can contribute to the development of asthma, and
yeasts can cause skin infections around the mouth and lips.
The study appears in the March/April issue of the journal
"Many children participate in their school's band ensemble and often the instruments they play are on loan," lead author R. Thomas Glass said in a journal news release. "Most of these instruments have been played by other students, and without the proper sanitation, bacteria and fungi can thrive for weeks and even months after the last use."
Instrument surfaces that come into contact with the skin and
mouth should be wiped frequently, and the instrument should be
taken apart for thorough cleanings on a regular basis. It's best to
use cleaning cloths and solutions made specifically for
instruments, Glass said.
Most importantly, students should not share their instruments
with others, the researchers said.
The Nemours Foundation has more about