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Latex Halloween masks are displayed in a costume store in New York.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

Scary masks hide even-scarier germs

  • Article by: Jeff Strickler
  • Star Tribune
  • October 29, 2013 - 1:57 PM

If you think the Halloween masks of monsters, demons and other nasty beings that you see lining store shelves are frightening, you don’t know half of it.

Germ experts warn that masks that are tried on by multiple shoppers can pick up bacteria that is passed on to the next person who puts it on.

A TV station in Phoenix arranged for a biology professor to test masks for germs.

“I was quite surprised at the number of bacteria and the diversity of the bacteria,” Stan Kikkert of Mesa Community College was quoted as saying. “In terms of gross, it’s definitely kind of disgusting looking at this data.”

But don’t be scared off the notion of dressing up for Halloween. Experts said that the bacteria problem can be solved by bringing a santized wipe with you and using it to clean the inside of the mask before you try it on.

© 2014 Star Tribune