Bristles from grill brushes causing injuries, study shows

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — As we enjoy the warmer weather, doctors have a warning about those wire-bristle brushes you use to clean the grill. That’s because when the brushes lose bristles, they can become stuck to food on the grill and accidentally ingested.

A study, led by researchers at University of Missouri, published April 4th estimated 1,698 cases of bristle brush ingestion injuries between 2002 and 2014.

Data shows the majority of these injuries occurs in the mouth, throat and tonsils and is more common during the summer months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports injury ranged from puncture of the soft tissues of the neck, causing severe pain on swallowing, to perforation of the gastrointestinal tract requiring emergent surgery.

According to the CDC, questions remain regarding whether different brands or designs of grill-cleaning brushes, different grill types, different types of food, or different health conditions make a difference in the risk for ingestion of wire bristles.

Experts recommend closely inspecting brushes before using them, and to examine the grill closely to make sure there are no loose bristles. They also recommend finding other ways to clean the grill.

NBC Universal contributed to this report.

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