Albuquerque, New Mexico, television reporter Royale Da was able to persuade a number of men — she did not reveal how many — to have their beards swabbed and tested for bacteria, KOAT
Lab results showed that some of the beards — just how many Da did not say — contained fecal matter.
"I'm usually not surprised and I was surprised by this," microbiologist John Golobic, who works at Quest Diagnostics told Da. The reporter has swabbed other surfaces in the past as part of an ongoing series of stories.
Golobic said the lack of cleanliness of some of the beards was unsettling. He advised the men with soiled beards to thoroughly cleanse them, and to wash their hands on a more regular basis.
"Try to keep your hands away from your face, as much as possible," was his further advice.
The Centers for Disease Control
recommend that hands be washed after using the toilet, changing diapers, or after handling animal waste.
Beards have become increasingly popular, according to The New York Times.
Movie stars such as George Clooney have been photographed sporting beards, moustaches, or stubble. Others have traced the popularity of beards to the economic downturn and the 9/11 attacks, and a quest for a simpler lifestyle.
The attractiveness of beards may now be fading, at least among younger gay men, according to The Guardian.
If the trend back toward the clean-shaven look spreads, it would represent a fashion reversal which saw fewer shaving products sold in Britain in 2013-2014, according to the Express.
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