Some of the cleaner used in cleaning guns is potentially dangerous, according to a study.
The study by researchers at University of New South Wales, Melbourne and the Australian National University found that the cleaner’s antibacterial properties were associated with a 10-fold increase in the number of bacteria that could be detected in a sample.
The cleaners also increased the chances of a bacteria infection.
The findings could be used to protect guns from misuse.
Professor Stephen Hallett, who led the study, said that gun cleaners were “generally accepted” as a way of removing gun residue from the hands.
But he said the “problem” of cleaning guns was often overlooked.
“We thought it was pretty much forgotten, that’s the way we felt, so we did the research,” Professor Hallent said.
“There was a lot of concern that if the gun cleaner was used to clean guns, it could cause bacterial contamination, so the focus should be on other things that can help prevent gun misuse.”
In the study researchers analysed samples of gun cleaning detergent from over 1,000 gun cleaning products sold by Walmart and other major retailers in the US.
They found that gun cleaning product tested positive for four different types of bacteria, including Clostridium difficile, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi.
Dr Halleton said the gun cleaning company that supplied the products to the study had also admitted to the researchers that the product was contaminated with bacteria.
“The company has admitted that their product contains chemicals which may be harmful to humans,” he said.
The researchers said the problem was not limited to cleaning guns, but could also affect cleaning the air and water used to water your car or your house.
“Our study suggests that some gun cleaners used in the industry are potentially harmful,” Professor David Janssen, from the University of Queensland, told the ABC.
“And we are not talking about only cleaning guns.
We are talking about cleaning the environment as well.”
Dr Hillett said it was important to consider cleaning your own household with safer cleaner alternatives, such as detergents, which had been proven to kill the bacteria that cause diarrhoea.
But Professor Halsett said the findings were not surprising.
“People are used to cleaning their own house.
But we need to take a much broader view of the cleaning industry,” he added.
“This study is just the tip of the iceberg and it is not only about cleaning guns.”
Read more about the gun cleaners.
The gun cleaner study also found that people who used the cleaner most frequently were more likely to be carrying the bacteria and to have higher levels of the bacteria.
The authors said the study showed there was an association between gun cleaner use and bacterial contamination.
“If people are using gun cleaners in a way that can harm people, we need answers,” Professor Jansens said.
Mr Hallend said people should not take the gun cleaners to their local supermarket.
“I would say to people: ‘Do not buy this gun cleaner,'” he said, adding that people should also avoid using gun cleaner in public places.
“It is probably a very bad idea,” he told the BBC.
Professor Hasellts research also found the cleaner had been linked to an increased risk of pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses in people who use it.
He said it also raised questions about the safety of gun cleaners, given that some of the people who reported the contamination also had asthma.
“To me it’s an interesting study,” Professor Darrin Cottrell, from Melbourne’s Centre for Health Policy, said.