A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that people who use plastic-free or disposable plastic bottles, as well as those who don’t use glass bottles, are at increased risk for developing nasal and sinus infections.
The study also found that the risk of developing an infection increased by 17 percent among people who used plastic bottles and the risk increased by 30 percent among those who did not use plastic.
The findings suggest that the health risks associated with disposable plastic may be greater than previously thought, according to the study authors.
“The most important thing people need to remember is that you shouldn’t use a disposable bottle when you have a nose infection,” lead author and epidemiologist Dr. Elizabeth Schumacher said in a press release.
“The most effective way to avoid these potentially harmful effects is to use disposable plastic instead.”
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of over 2,400 studies involving over 1,500,000 people to see if disposable plastic was associated with nasal and/or sinus infection.
They found that, on average, people who didn’t use plastic bottles were twice as likely to develop nasal or sinus inflammation as those that did.
Those who used disposable plastic were more likely to have a bacterial or fungal infection in their noses, while those who didn.
People who use disposable plastics were more than four times as likely as those without to develop a bacterial infection, the researchers found.
People using disposable plastic also had a higher risk of contracting sinusitis, a condition that can cause inflammation in the nose and/ or sinuses.
People also were more vulnerable to developing a sinus condition if they were smokers, people with higher levels of cholesterol, and people who were overweight or obese.
“These findings have important implications for public health efforts to reduce the spread of nasal and other infections,” Schumachers and co-authors said in the press release, adding that their results should inform future efforts to develop anti-bacterial or nasal products.
The study was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.