Thursday, June 02, 2011

Remember in band--pouring out the spit?


I saw a study recently that said learning in instrument (as mothers urge) was good for kids physically—breath control, discipline, and so on.

Now—yipes—seems wind instruments are chambers of mold and disease.

Study in the Intl J of Envir Health Research.

Germs get in there—but how long do they survive in there? These researchers looked at 11 clarinets, two trumpets, two saxophones, and five flutes, looking for all kinds of bacteria, staph, mold and other baddies.

All had some level of viable stuff in there, the highest amount if played within 72 hours. But some bacteria lasted 24 hours or even 48 on reeds exposed to air. A strain of TB lingered 13 days.

OK, this sounds scary, but this is hardly a huge sample…and though I am sure, true, isn’t this what immune systems are for? Plus—prudence—don’t swap instruments every practice, maybe?

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