Fear the beard? Not so fast

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By now you’ve probably seen the report claiming some beards are as dirty as a toilet.

Albuquerque, New Mexico television station KOAT tested random samples of men’s facial hair.

A microbiologist with Quest Diagnostic laboratory found some beards loaded with bacteria. Some of the bacteria was comparable to what you’d find in, well, poop.

The microbiologist admitted the bacteria won’t make you sick.

So, should you grab the razor? Probably not.

Since the story broke, a number of other media outlets have pretty much debunked the findings.

The Guardian says the bacteria found on the beards is the same bacteria found in the intestines:

“While it’s true that human feces are partially composed of gut bacteria, it’s not accurate to describe those bacteria on their own as feces.”

The Washington Post also noted that gut bacteria is not the same thing as poop:

“The problem with this is that bacteria known to associate poop is not necessarily literal poop. In fact it’s probably not. And saying that something is gross for being covered in bacteria is pretty ridiculous, because anything that exists in our physical realm is definitely going to be covered in bacteria.”

“I have bad news for y’all: You’re covered in poo bacteria. COVERED. Look to your left, look to your right. There’s probably poo bacteria on both sides and also in front of you. It’s okay. It’s really fine. Embrace the poo bacteria, it is a part of you because you are a multitude of microorganisms, each more special than the last.”

“But unless you’ve put it there intentionally, you almost certainly don’t have poop on your face. No matter how thick your beard is.”

A microbiologist wrote the following for slate.com:

“I’d be willing to bet that you can find enteric bacteria pretty much everywhere if you look hard enough. And do those present a health risk? Probably not, as even the microbiologist in the original story admits.”