With warmer weather comes BBQ season, but if you use a brush to clean off your BBQ, a new study has found it can pose serious health risks, including injuries to the stomach and mouth. The new findings suggest that bristles left behind from brushes can end up in your food and cause injuries to the mouth, throat, and stomach.
Some injuries are so severe that surgery is actually required. Such cases spike particularly during the summer months.
Study author Dr. C.W. David Chang said, “The issue is likely under-reported and thus underappreciated. Because of the uncommon nature of wire bristle injuries, people may not be as mindful about the dangers and implications. Awareness among emergency department physicians, radiologists, and otolaryngologists is particularly important so that appropriate tests and examinations can be conducted.”
The researchers studied and analyzed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data, where they identified 1,700 BBQ brush injuries between 2002 and 2014.
Consumers should examine brushes prior to use and discard them if bristles are beginning to loosen. Also, check the grill for stray bristles prior to putting food on it. The researchers also suggest considering other cleaning methods that can offer safer alternatives.