6 Public Hot Spots for Germs You Never Thought Could Be True
The world has been fighting a messy and sloppy battle with germs ever since they were discovered in the 16th century. Mankind found them even more bothersome than mosquitos. However, in their defense, 99 per cent of germs are as harmless as a teddy bear. After all, microorganisms are vital to humans and the environment. But the one percent which cause a health havoc around the world give germs the reputation and bad name they have today. The bad bacteria that float through the air, settle on common public surfaces like door knobs, elevator buttons, drinking fountains, and grocery carts, are often ghosts and invisible to us. So, having cleansers on you, when you go out daily into some of germs’ favourite hot spots to battle your worries, can be a powerful ally.
Here are our Top 6 Public Germ Hot Spots, which include some shocking places where bad germs lie in wait:
- The Office Desk
Most people’s work stations also double as bad germ- paradise. The office desktop is the top location for germs on our list. With as many as 10 million bacteria (the population of some of the world’s biggest cities) living here per square centimeter,(yup, you read right!) an office desktop can make the average toilet seat’s cleanliness seem like a surgery room. According to a study by the University of Arizona, the office desktop holds 400 times as much bacteria as the average toilet seat. And in a stale office environment where air doesn’t circulate, germs move in permanently, on keyboards, monitors, and your mouse. Co-workers who share work spaces are sharing much more than a desk and computer.
- The ATM
The next time you make a withdrawal at a busy downtown Automated Teller Machine, you may be withdrawing more than cash. Germs love to squat on ATM buttons until the next unsuspecting customer comes along. Some studies suggest as many as 1,200 bacteria on average live on each ATM button. Again, a hand sanitiser is a great germ defender after a cash stop.
- The Public Restroom
Oh, the bitter irony! The places where germs are supposed to go to die are often where they hang out in masses. One recent study suggests up to 25 per cent of public restroom soap dispensers contain faecal bacteria. A good 15- to 20-second scrub under hot water and a thorough hand-drying afterward are musts, especially in warm seasons.
- Public Transportation
Taxi drivers hate them because they never pay fare. A taxi is the perfect vehicle for germs, offering more entry points than a stadium (the door, the window, the air vent, the sunroof, etc.). Air, which holds spores, often sets up shop on the dashboard, while germs cling on door handles. On buses and subway trains, bacteria sit on poles, hand rails and window sills, and enjoy the cosy confines of a contained environment.
- Gym Equipment
When we go to the gym, we burn calories by the hundreds, either on the exercise bike or weight machine, but we can also pick up bacteria by the thousands. Wiping off the seat or bench before you start sweating up a storm is a must, especially during cold and flu season.
- The Hotel Remote Control
With one hand in a bag of potato chips or in a bowl of popcorn, and one hand on the remote checking out the World Cup game or to see what new TV show is on, most hotel television viewers keep their remote control at the ready. But not the disinfecting wipes, because hey, it’s the maid’s job, right? When in truth, we never know if the guest before us may have been coming down with a bad cold.
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