Discovery of mold in water bottle prompts shocked Australian to warn ‘clean your bottles’
A businesswoman who has been mysteriously ill for three years has discovered black mold hiding in a popular water bottle.
Kayla Houlihan, from Victoria, said she’d noticed she’d been unwell for years – but her doctors couldn’t figure out why she was suffering from unexplained stomach problems.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Aussie’s disturbing find in a water bottle.
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It wasn’t until her sister asked her how often she cleaned the reusable straw that comes with her water bottle that she discovered mold growth.
“I feel so sick about it,” she said in a now-viral TikTok video.
“I’m absolutely shocked by what I just saw, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I feel like I have tears in my eyes. I’m actually that shocked.
“I want to cry, there are literally black chunks of mold in the straw and I probably drank it.”
Kayla said the thought of deep cleaning her straw never crossed her mind since she only drank water.
“My sister asked me how often I clean the straw in my water bottle,” she said.
“I thought, ‘I’m not cleaning the straw, do I have to clean the straw? I only drink water from it.
“And she says, ‘Yes, you have to clean the straw because you’re going to have mold in it.’
‘Never thought about it’
“I really never thought about it… I just thought it would be okay because it’s water.”
When she inspected the straw, she found traces of mold in it.
“I’m actually worried about the lack of mold in mine because I feel like I’ve drunk a lot of mold over the years,” she said in disbelief.
“Mold wouldn’t stick to the sides. It would have come up the straw if I drank from my water bottle.”
Kayla suspected that the mold had caused her years of malaise.
“Just extra context, so I’ve been so ill for almost three years of my life that something is wrong with my stomach and no specialist or GP can figure out what’s going on,” she explained.
“I’ve got all these symptoms and we’ve done all these tests … They put a tube down my throat to check my stomach and nobody can figure out what’s going on.”
According to the Victoria Department of Health, mold can cause nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, respiratory infections and aggravate asthma and allergic conditions.
You should seek medical advice if you are concerned about the effects of mold.
She said she doesn’t blame the makers for the mold as it was her “fault” for never cleaning her bottle thoroughly.
“I’m not saying that’s definitely wrong, but there’s a pattern,” she said.
“I’m never sick on weekends, I’m always sick on weekdays, and sometimes I’m sick every day.
“Then sometimes it’s like a month that I’m not sick, so we can’t figure out a pattern of what’s going on.
“I’m not sure if that’s wrong, but it’s definitely an interesting theory.”
However, she hopes that the mold is the cause of her mysterious illness.
Clean your bottles
“I would be so happy if this was the reason I’ve been sick for three years so I can finally get an answer and recover,” she said.
By speaking up, she wanted to urge everyone to always clean their water bottles thoroughly.
“PSA (public notice), which probably everyone already knows, you need to clean the straw in your water bottle,” she said.
“You should clean the straw and bottle every time you use them – I just never read the directions and I didn’t know.
“This could really change my life if my sister finds out why I keep getting sick.
“But if you have a drinking bottle with a straw, clean it.”
“I’m always sick”
Her video has been viewed more than 1.9 million times, and many said they never thought to clean their straws.
“I’m always sick too. Everything I eat makes me nauseous. Now I’m going to check all my straws,” one said.
Another added: “You are not alone! I never wash my work water bottle! I mean I do this every few months but it’s rare! I’m always sick too.”
One suggested: “Friend you’re not the only one. I find way too many people are surprised when I tell them to clean their straws.”
While another wrote: “I HATE straw cups because I have to constantly clean them. I almost banished her to this house.”
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