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If you've ever wondered what's hiding underneath your ring or your watch, after reading this, you'll wish you never asked.
Experts have urged people to make sure they're washing their jewellery regularly after a study showed that it's probably crawling with thousands of little critters.
The team at pre-owned jewellery specialists Est1897 swabbed watches, earrings and rings to see how much dirt had accumulated on them after just a week.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, 'A week? What's a week?'
Well, I can assure you, it's a very, very long time indeed.
Discussing the experiment, a spokesperson for East1897 said: "Every day our hands come into contact with thousands of unknown objects harbouring anything from food to faecal matter, resulting in harmful bacteria spreading to our jewellery.
"When jewellery isn’t cleaned properly, bacteria can grow at a rapid rate and with the average person touching their face an estimated 16 times an hour, we could be spreading the organisms that cause MRSA, diphtheria, food poisoning and even thrush - all from our go-to ring or favourite pair of earrings.
"Using agar plates at room temperature for over 74 hours and sterile technique to measure the growth of bacteria, we found that your jewellery is a lot filthier than you might think."
The company found that the 'most infested' piece of jewellery after just seven days was the humble watch.
According to the data, they recorded four different species of bacteria on the watch, amounting to 20,000 colonies. *Throws watch in bleach*
Next on the list was the ring, which had five species but just 504 colonies of bacteria.
And rounding things off was the earring, with four species of bacteria and 485 colonies.
Now, while this might sound pretty disgusting, I mean, because it is, researchers said it shouldn't be anything to worry about health-wise.
The company said: "Our results showed that there are different types of microorganisms found on frequently worn jewellery. This bacteria and fungi are mainly commensal bacteria and, in most cases, do not cause harm.
"However, if left for a long period of time, the skin barrier is broken, the individual is immunocompromised, or during treatment with antibiotics, then these microorganisms can pose a threat.
"As we touch our mouth and face increasing the risk of transmitting bacteria, this is when these bacterias could potentially lead to MRSA, Diphtheria, food poisoning or, in some cases, even thrush."
So, you have been warned.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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