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Surprising Science

Don’t Let The Hysteria of Fecal-Filled Beards Pressure You To Shave

Don’t shave your beards just yet; the panic over feces in beards may have been exaggerated — there’s fecal matter everywhere. 

There’s a lot of hate going around about beards after multiple news sites reported that some of them are dirtier than toilets. However, Nick Evershed from The Guardian kept a level head through it all and provided another perspective over the hysteria that’s making many significant others contemplate taking a razor to their man’s beard. To them, I ask that they stay their hand, for there are far more disgusting and unexpected places where feces lie in wait.

The most important point of this story is that it’s not an official study. The story originated from a news program in New Mexico where they took swabs of a “handful” of men’s beards off the street. The swabs were then sent to microbiologist John Golobic to see what microbes were present. The reporter then interviewed Golobic to see if these beards caught anything other than soup in their fuzzy tendrils.

Indeed, they did. Golobic said there was some bacteria present, namely, ones that live in the intestines. Then he said the magic words that turned into the toilet-beard stories we’ve been hearing of late. He said:

“Those are the types of things you’d find in feces.”

OK, yes, there’s gut bacteria in beards, and possibly even hints of feces, but that shouldn’t be as surprising as Golobic makes it out to be — there are feces everywhere.

Melissa Dahl from NYMag reports that Philip M. Tierno, a microbiologist at New York University, weighed in on the recent hysteria on the “toilet beard,” saying:

“We, as a society, are literally bathed in feces. Wherever a man touches, there are feces and fecal organisms present.”

The show Mythbusters confirmed this idea a while back, where they reported after a controlled month-long study that toilets are essentially are poo-filled aerosol sprays. Every time you flush, tainted water droplets make their way to every part of your bathroom and beyond. By the end of their study, they found that toothbrushes placed in the bathroom and in an office far away from it, all contained microscopic fecal matter. The stuff is everywhere.

Guys can mitigate the spread of gut bacteria to their beards by making sure to wash their hands and not touch their face. Though, this is a rule we should all follow to avoid the spread of disease.

Read more atThe Guardian.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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