the strange life of q-tips, the most bizarre thing people buy
Pain is unbearable.
It won\'t disappear-
For a week, there was a weak bell ringing in her head.
Finally, the other day she recalled to me that the discomfort had caused her to find a doctor who carefully pushed the ear mirror into her ear.
Within seconds he pulled it out and looked at her face.
\"You put Q-
Tips in the ears?
He asked in a tone of disapproval.
Like many others, my mother has been using Q-
Tips for cleaning your ears
But in doing so, she is also interfering with a natural process.
Her ear was hurt because she had an ear infection and she used Q-frequently-
Tips are helpful.
\"Promise me one thing,\" the doctor told her . \".
\"Promise me, you will never ask again.
The tip in the ear\"Q-
Tip is one of the most confusing things on the US market.
In addition to core functions, a large number of consumer goods are widely used
Book to level the table, newspaper to make a fire, seltzer to remove stains, coffee table to rest legs
But these cotton swabs are different. Q-
Tipsareone is the only, if not the only, and the main purpose is precisely one of the main consumer goods that the manufacturer explicitly warns against.
For a long time, small cotton stick has been sold as a staple food for home, for a variety of beauty, crafts, household products
Cleaning and baby care.
For years, they have maintained a clear cautious attitude. every box of Q-
The prompt comes with the warning: \"Do not insert the ear canal. \"But everyone —
Especially those who live by watching people\'s ears.
Knowing a lot, if not most, just ignore the warning.
People came in with cotton. swab-
Related issues have been around, \"said Dennis feizard, an ear and nose expert in Washington, D. C. C. .
\"Any ENT doctor in the world will tell you that they have been looking at these things all the time.
\"People say they just use them to make up, but we know what else they do with them,\" he added . \".
\"They put them in the rocket.
No one told us not to refuse Q-
Tips have never been sold in the depths of their ears, and it took the manufacturer about half a century to explicitly warn it.
The versatile little family staple is the brain product of a man named Leo Gerstenzang who, after watching his wife prepare their children, wants to wrap the cotton tightly on a stick.
She is using a toothpick, and there is a cotton ball at the end of the toothpick, carefully applying a variety of things to the baby, a clever but easy-to-improve trick.
In 1923, Gerstenzangintroduced introduced the first sterilized cotton swab.
In addition to some key differences, they are similar to those sold today.
They are made of wood, not plastic or paper.
They are single. , notdouble-sided;
They should be used for baby care, not for everything in the sun;
Most importantly, they did not stop putting them in their ears.
\"Every mother will be happy to know Q-Gay baby (
Q represents \"quality \")
\"The eyes, nostrils, ears, gums and sanitary boron tip cotton swab for many other uses,\" wrote a 1927 print ad . \".
Many things have changed over the next few years, including the name, which has been shortened to only q-tips;
Transfer of materials for newspapers;
The scope of marketing has expanded to include a variety of other household uses.
But one thing is not: not realizing.
It was not until some time in the 1970 s that the box began to warn against sticking things to its ears.
Retro box soon after new label practice (
Available on Ebay)
\"Ear care for adults\" is written in front \".
But there is also movement direction in the box, it is recommended not to use them in the ear canal.
The warning is more clear today.
They said fairly clearly, \"Do not insert a cotton swab into the ear canal.
\"It is not clear what prompted the change.
During that time, there was no record of public cases.
Someone accused tip of damaging someone\'s ear.
Unilever, which now owns the brand, has not attributed the shift to anything special.
\"The brand has a history of nearly 100, so there are several iterations on the package,\" said Caroline Stanton, a spokesman for the company . \".
\"The Early boxes were prepared for baby care, so it was not relevant at the time.
\"But at least part of the motivation for this shift comes from the understanding that many people abuse cotton swabs.
The earliest boxes were prepared for baby care, but this product has also been used for many other tasks for decades --
Cleaning tools for adults.
\"Dad found the\" ideal \"ink absorber of water in his ear,\" one from mid-1900s read.
Despite the addition of labels on the package, Q-
Like they have for decades
As a tool for ear cleaning.
In 1980, an advertisement for the brand featured Betty White, who encouraged people to use them on eyebrows, lips and ears. \"This is a Q-
\"Tip the cotton swab,\" she said . \".
They call it a safety cotton swab.
\"This place full of uplifting music and lovely animations shows a child using cotton swabs on the dog\'s ears, and then a mother using cotton swabs on the baby\'s ears.
An article published in issue 1990 of the Washington Post joked about telling people to use cotton swabs on \"The outer surface of the ear does not enter the ear canal\", like Q-
The tip pack does this, similar to asking a smoker to lift a cigarette from his lips without lighting it.
Cleaning your ears is a relaxing and enjoyable way.
We move on-
Thanks for the simple fact that it feels great.
Our ears are filled with sensitive nerve ends that signal other parts of our body.
All sorts of stimuli are emitted from their internal organs.
But more. Using Q-
The tip causes towhat dermatologist to call it itchy-
Cycle from scratch, a self
The more you use, the more itchy your ears are;
The more itchy your ears are, the more you use them.
Fitzgerald, an ear and nose expert, said he appreciated the analogy of cigarettes, but insisted that the temptation to stick cotton swabs to his ears was not fun at all.
At the heart of the problem is a fundamental misconception that Fitzgerald believes manufacturers help spread, even if not intentionally, by talking about their use in ear cleaning in advertising.
\"People are led to think it\'s normal to wash their ears --
\"They thought the ear wax was dirty, disgusting, or unnecessary,\" he said . \".
\"But this is not true at all.
\"Fitzgerald compares ear wax to tears, which helps to lubricate and protect our eyeballs.
Earwax also has a similar effect on the ear channel, he said, and earwax is thin and fragile and prone to infection.
\"Your body produces it [ear wax]
To protect the ears, \"said Fitzgerald.
\"The things you brought out should be inside.
There is a natural migration that takes the wax away when one leaves.
\"Even if our ears are to be cleaned, the truth is,
Tipping is still a terrible thing, he said.
The shape, size and texture of the cotton swab makes it possible to insert the cotton swab into your ear to push the wax inward and push it to your eardrum instead of attracting it.
\"Push the wax in like Q
\"Tips often lead to hearing loss,\" said Fitzgerald . \".
\"They can also be inserted too deep, the drum membrane is broken, or the small middle ear bone is damaged, both of which are more than you think.
\"For this reason, American Ent science lists cotton swabs as\" inappropriate or harmful interventions \"in its 2008 guidelines, even if earwax needs to be removed strongly from the ear.
The patient\'s ear pain, the doctor\'s headache, is surprisingly hard to imagine people by putting Q-
Every year in their ears.
The Consumer Product Safety board tracks injuries related to various household products, including cotton balls.
But for reasons that are not clear, it does not track the person associated with the cotton swab.
The following screenshot is from the new CPSC report (
The number is the project code, not the damage toll). Next to cotton-
It says \"no report \".
The CPSC representative explained by email that \"Swabs do not fall under the jurisdiction of the CPSC because they are considered medical devices.
Medical devices are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, she said.
On the FDA\'s website, it does say that the swabs are classified as medical devices because they are \"used for medication or sampling from patients.
\"But the same is true for cotton balls.
Neither the FDA nor the CPSC could explain why the Commission followed the injury associated with cotton balls, but did not follow the cotton swab.
CPSC recommends contact with FDA.
FDA recommends contact with CPSC.
Finally, no one has an answer.
But this difference has a significant effect: This means that it is much more difficult to quantify the number of Q-tips-
Related injuries occur in the United States every year.
The FDA has complaints on its website but does not add them up.
\"It\'s very tedious to figure out how much of the damage associated with cotton swab every year,\" FDA spokesman Deborah Scott said . \".
Kotz suggested searching for reports in the agency\'s database and found cases of injuries after some people used cotton swabs in their ears and bothered to submit reports.
In one case, a patient filed a complaint \"following a friend\'s advice for the first time\" after cleaning the ear.
Another consumer complained that Cotton had been separated from the stem.
But doctors don\'t need an official database to know that cotton swabs are a problem.
\"Everyone puts them in their ears, but no one should do that,\" said Fitzgerald, an ENT doctor . \".
\"They are one of the most common contributors to ear problems.
\"A 2011 study by Henry Ford Hospital found that the use of cotton swab inside the ear was directly related to the rupture of the eardrum.
It also states that \"more than half of patients in the ENT department (
Ear, nose, throat)
Regardless of their main complaint, the clinic admitted to using a cotton swab to clean the ears.
Fitzgerald said he could know right away that someone was using q-
Warm Tip, never complain warningsaren is not working.
\"I can\'t tell you the number of times I tell someone to never put them in their ears and then be told they don\'t know,\" he said . \". Q-
The tip is left today. there is no ear on the official Q -. tips website.
There was a woman making up on her lips with a cotton swab, another woman applying nail polish with a cotton swab, a dog, a baby, and a sparkling clean living room.
Variety reflection Q-
Staples\'s business strategy is increasingly driven by product appeal.
\"This marketing expanded to \'all purpose \'use in the 1990 s and 2000 s,\" said Svetlana Uduslivaia, head of organization and health at Euromonitor, a market research firm.
The company is estimated at $208. 4 million in Q-
Sales skills in the USS.
Growth from $189 in 2014.
2005 3 million.
\"People can use it [Q-tips]
\"For ear cleaning, we instructed not to do so,\" says Unilever\'s Stanton . \".
The problem, of course, is that people do.
Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at Wharton Business School, said that changing people\'s awareness of Q-
Because they are a brand with a long history.
\"They are trying to change people\'s perception of the product and build a brand that is separate from the original and inappropriate use, but when everyone knows a product and thinks about it in some way, it\'s really hard. \"She said.
\"If people tell people to use Q-
If the information is spread through video or other media, or just transferred from the customer to the customer, this is a very powerful thing that they can\'t control.
\"There is really no way to stop the product, apart from rolling it out of the market, and they obviously won\'t do that,\" she added . \".
\"If it were up to me, they wouldn\'t be in the market,\" he said . \".
\"When I treat people with recurring problems with their ears, I ask them to promise that they will throw away their Q-
Tip, no more.
Those who continue to get infected are people who don\'t listen.