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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Used woodwind and brass musical instruments harbor harmful bacteria and fungi, study suggests

Used woodwind and brass musical instruments harbor harmful bacteria and fungi, study suggests

General Dentistry - March/April 2011

From the March 14 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2011) — Research has shown that playing a musical instrument can help nourish, cultivate, and increase intelligence in children, but playing a used instrument also can pose a potentially dangerous health risk.

Used woodwind and brass instruments were found to be heavily contaminated with a variety of bacteria and fungi, many of which are associated with minor to serious infectious and allergic diseases, according to a study published in the March/April 2011 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)…

Researchers found that many of the bacteria can cause illness in humans and are highly resistant to the antibiotics normally prescribed by general practitioners. This finding makes sterilization of instruments extremely important.

“Instruments should be cleaned after each use to reduce the number of organisms,” said Dr. Sherwood. “And cleaning should not be confined to the mouthpiece, since the bacteria invade the entire instrument.”

To avoid transmission of bacteria from instrument to player, parents and students should frequently wipe the surface of the instrument that comes into contact with the skin and mouth. The instrument should be taken apart for thorough cleanings on a regular basis. Dr. Glass suggests using cleaning cloths and solutions made specifically for instruments. Most importantly, students are advised not to share their instruments with others. Students should consult with their band instructor for additional ways to disinfect their instruments.

 

March 15, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , ,

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