Festival bands

Claim made by: Dr Alison Cottell
Location: The Mirror
Spotted on: 2015-06-26

Festival wristbands were found to harbour 20 times the concentration of dangerous bugs commonly found on clothes. They were described as a "Health alert" after only two bands from one person were tested.

Update 2015-07-09

Here's the reply I received:
"Dear Max,

Thanks for your email.

I did not see the article in the Mirror.

I said that there were approximately 20 times the number of skin bacteria (rather than dangerous bacteria) on the two wristbands tested, compared to values published in the literature for clothing. However, I never described this as a “health alert”, nor would I, and I am happy for you to share this publicly.



As shown by her reply, I think it is safe to assume that Dr Cottell herself did not overstate the evidence, and that it was the Mirror that exaggerated the claim. What Dr Cottell has said seems to be reasonable and so I am fine with her response.

A week later a similar article appeared in the Times which made further claimes about the wristbands. It stated that these bands were harbouring around 9,000 micrococci and 2,000 staphylococci, and could possibly cause septicaemia or even blood poisoning.


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