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Avoid a Nasty Surprise From the Barbecue Grill
Wire-bristle cleaning brushes pose an injury risk

By Robert Preidt

SUNDAY, June 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Summer wouldn't be complete without ribs and burgers sizzling on the barbecue grill.

But those hot-weather American staples can bring a rise in injuries from wire bristle grill brushes.

Loose bristles can fall off the brush while you're cleaning the grill grate and end up in food. If consumed, the bristles can cause injuries in the mouth, throat and tonsils, said Dr. David Chang, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the University of Missouri.

"One little bristle unrecognized could get lodged in various areas of the body, whether in the throat, tonsil or neck region," Chang said in a university news release.

Chang previously led a study that concluded that more than 1,600 injuries from wire-bristle grill brushes were reported in U.S. emergency rooms from 2002 to 2014.

While injuries from these brushes occur throughout the year, they are more common in summer months, he said. "Physicians, consumers and product manufacturers need to be aware of the dangers of wire-bristle grill brushes to promote safety," he added.

If the bristle passes through the mouth and throat without lodging itself, it could get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or the intestine, Chang said.

The biggest worry is that it will land in the intestine. "The bristles could migrate out of the intestine and cause further internal damage," Chang explained.

If you use a wire-bristle grill brush, examine the cleaning tool before each use and throw it out if bristles are loose, he recommended.

Also, check your barbecue grill for bristles before cooking, and inspect grilled food carefully after cooking to make sure no bristles are stuck to the food.

Chang also suggested trying alternative grill cleaning methods, such as nylon-bristle brushes.

Someone who develops swallowing problems or pain after eating food from a barbecue should go to a doctor or an emergency department and mention having just been at a barbecue, he said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on injuries caused by wire bristle grill brushes.

SOURCE: University of Missouri, news release, June 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=723706

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Wounds and Injuries
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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