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Wristbands are much like the bruises that cover our body after a festival — we wear them proudly having survived three or so days in a pit of fellow sweaty, enthralled, music-loving fans. Unlike bruises, however, the colorful strips don’t fade away on their own, requiring us humans to peel them off. We often don’t; being nostalgic creatures, we allow the bands to live on our wrists and become part of our daily outfit for weeks, months to come.
And therein lies the problem.
According to microbiologist Dr. Allison Cottell, if we keep wristbands on for too long, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to harbor some rather nasty things — we’re talking the kind of bacteria that can lead to infections, boils, and even food poisoning. As Riot Fest points out:
She [Dr. Cottell] studied a person that wore two fabric festival wristbands for two years, and found nearly 9,000 micrococci and 2,000 staphylococci bacteria on them. That’s more than twenty times the bacteria found on your clothes…”
Gagging yet? Perhaps we’d all be better off slapping our wristbands in some kind of scrapbook than have our bodies play host to a hotbed of icky microorganisms. (Seriously, I better not see any Panorama and Newport Folk Fest bands four weeks from now.)