Look who’s worming your comfy pillow! | india | Hindustan Times
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Look who’s worming your comfy pillow!

You may never want to use your fluffy pillows after learning that they are the perfect breeding ground for gruesome array of pests and diseases. This has been revealed by scientists who conducted a study on the hygiene quotient of pillows.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2011 00:58 IST

You may never want to use your fluffy pillows after learning that they are the perfect breeding ground for gruesome array of pests and diseases. This has been revealed by scientists who conducted a study on the hygiene quotient of pillows.

According to the study by The Barts and The London NHS Trust, up to a third of the weight of your pillow could be made up of bugs, dead skin, dust mites and their faeces. The condition of pillows in hospitals is even worse as they are the ideal breeding grounds for germs and bacteria ranging from the superbugs MRSA and C. diff to flu, chicken pox and even leprosy, the scientists said.

sleepBut the problem of bugs in pillows is not confined to hospitals, said study author Dr Arthur Tucker, a clinical scientist at St Barts and the London Hospitals. While some of the bugs will only be found lurking in hospitals or in tropical climes, others will be making themselves at home in the comfort of your bed, he said. "People put a clean pillow case on and it looks and smells nice and fresh but you are wrapping up something really nasty underneath," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Bacteria feast on these and multiply on and inside the pillows — some of which will never be washed, he added. The warnings came after the researchers studied the “health” of hundreds of pillows used by patients in hospitals run by Barts and the London NHS Trust. They found high levels of “living” contamination on the outside of the pillows.

In some cases, rips and tears meant that the germs had found their way into the filling. Some pillows were contaminated with the E. coli stomach bug. Others contained germs that can cause respiratory and urinary tract infections.