The Dirtiest Everyday Items
I was just reading a piece from The Wired about how filthy our smartphones are. I mean, I don't plan on eating a meal off of my phone, but the degree of contamination took me aback.
The irradiated warmth of a cellphone’s interior is a vile, germ-infested bath loaded with more pathogens than any surface in your home, according to a study conducted by cell phone retailer Dial-a-Phone.
Dial-a-phone swabbed everyday household objects from toilet seats (which are actually very clean) to keyboards and the bottoms of shoes (which are not.) The results indicate that every time you heft that slab of plastic and silicon to your head, you’re not only risking a Scanners-like explosive demise, but a genuine risk of illness.
Really? As a member of the "media," I know our job is to scare you with these sorts of proclamations, but is my phone that bad? In a word, yes.
“The phones contained more skin bacteria than the any other object; this could be due to the fact that this type of bacteria increases in high temperatures and our phones are perfect for breeding these germs as they’re kept warm and cozy in our pockets, handbags and brief cases. These bacteria are toxic to humans, and can cause infections if they have the opportunity to enter the body.”
- Joanne Verran, Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Okay, okay. I'm convinced. I guess I can live without the phone. So, I'll ditch the smartphone and be all nice and clean. Right? Nope. Enter Ranker.com with their list of The Dirtiest Things You Touch Every Day. Let's see which items we can do without.
Let's start with money:
Everybody loves money, but nobody loves the germs that comes along with it! Yuck. From the Ralphs cashier to the business executive's office to the homeless man on the street, there's an enormous amount of bacteria on every buckaroo in your pocket. Dr. Darlington, the Health Commissioner of New York, found 135,000 bacteria from washing one bill and 126,000 from another. The way to tackle this problem is easy: wash your hands.
Okay, I'm not ready to part with cash (any faster than I normally do). What else? How about light switches?
Somebody's got to do it, and usually it's the last person in the room. So pack up your things quick and get out of there because turning off the light switch in a public area is just about the nastiest task anyone can be assigned to do, besides counting rolls of money (refer to #1). All the itty bitty germs love swirling around on the plastic switch that's touched by millions of dirty fingers over the years add up to about 217 bacteria/square inch. According to a local restroom sanitation glossary, that's what you'd call a common contact point where germs are transmitted. Clorox wipe, anyone?
I guess I could carry around a candle or flashlight. And since keyboards are next on the list, I shouldn't have any problems with having a free hand.
The computer's your friend (except when it freezes on you in the most pivotal moments of life) but its accompanying keyboard is a nemesis thriving with germs. In a study from a British consumer group in 2009, 33 computer keyboards were randomly sampled and out of these tested four were considered a health hazard. One was even discovered to have more bacteria than your average toilet. The only way to clean (or delete) this pile of cooties is to spray the keyboard with a can of compressed air and wipe with a cloth dipped in mild detergent.
Let's not stop now, we're rolling! What else?
Sorry to be a killjoy, but surfing down the grocery aisle just got a lot less fun. Think of every possible bacteria-filled thing a person can touch - well, once they hit their local supermarket, those things can also be found on the handle of any shopping cart. In fact, there may even be things on there that you haven't touched. A study from the University of Arizona found that shopping carts were loaded with more bacteria, saliva, and fecal matter than escalators, public telephones, and even public bathrooms. So next time you're at a supermarket, you might as well pick yourself up some Purell. Shop and squirt, shop and squirt...
Before I decide to look for John Travolta's "Boy in the Bubble Suit" on Ebay, let's look at one more thing: Your refrigerator.
The reasons behind this one are the same as the door knob except it is even worse as when someone is sick in your family they will probably be touching the fridge a lot and transferring bacteria to everyone else in the family. Since nobody ever cleans fridge handles the bacteria stays and has a lot of time to multiple and grow.
It's amazing than any one of us actually survives this germ/bacteria onslaught. By the way, Travolta's "Boy in the Plastic Bubble" movie is going for between $2.00 to $5.00 on Ebay, but an actual haz-mat suit is around $15.00.
I think I'm going for the "Breaking Bad" look.