If you are a germaphobe, it is not too late to turn back! This may send you over the edge. Then again if you are, then most likely you are aware of the following 25 things you use every day having more bacteria than your toilet. A few of these are probably a surprise to the average person. After reading this, you will want to carry a bottle of disinfectant with you everywhere. Or maybe just to be safe, enclose yourself into a plastic bubble.
1. When researchers sampled playgrounds, they found blood, mucus, saliva, and urine. This includes indoor and outdoor playgrounds. You don’t even want to know about the ball pit I guess this is just one more excuse to have kids stay inside and play video games, right? Hello childhood obesity!
2. Keyboards. That’s right keyboards are health hazards. How many people in your office sit and eat while they work? Pretty gross when you think about it.
3. Tanning beds. Dermatologists have determined that tanning beds can be a hotbed for the life-threatening Staphylococcus bacteria, as well as fecal bacteria, the herpes virus, and papillomavirus, which causes warts. So while you are catching those rays and upping your chance of getting cancer, you are also catching a few other things. Good luck convincing your significant other that you caught warts from the tanning bed.
4. Office coffee mugs. Colonies of germs are living in your favorite mug. “Twenty percent of office mugs carry fecal bacteria. Ninety percent are covered in other germs,” Professor Charles P. Gerba of the University of Arizona, told Men’s Health magazine. “That’s because in an office, most people tend to clean their cups with bacteria-laden sponges or scrub brushes instead of in a dishwasher. That bacteria transfers to the mug and can live there for three days.” Maybe it’s better just to stop and grab a cup to go on the way into the office.
5. Swimming pools. In 2013, CDC researchers collected water samples from filters at 160 public pools, both indoor and outdoor, located in the metro-Atlanta area. They found ‘poop’ in nearly 60 percent of the pools, with tests revealing 58 percent of the water samples were positive for the bacteria, Escherichia coli also known as E. coli. Think about that the next time you are swimming and get a mouthful of water.
6. Soda fountains. A 2010 report from the International Journal of Food Microbiology found traces of coliform bacteria on soda fountains in the United States. Coliform is a form of bacteria found in fecal matter. The soda fountains were also found to have traces of other bacteria that could lead to staph infections or gastric issues. Next time you get a big gulp, thing about what you are getting a big gulp of.
7. Cell phones. Studies have shown time and time again that most cell phones have fecal matter on them. This is great considering you put them up to your face so often.
8. Movie theaters. The news program 20/20 swabbed several theaters in New York and Los Angeles, then sent the samples to New York University Professor of Microbiology, Phillip M. Tierno, to analyze. He found evidence of bacteria found in cattle and soil, as well as bacteria commonly found in human feces and yeast. It’s all part of the experience, right?
9. Shopping carts. When researchers at the University of Arizona swabbed the handles of 85 carts in four states looking for bacterial contamination, they found what they thought they would. They found that 72 percent of the carts had a positive marker for fecal matter, and 50 percent had E. coli.
10. Kitchen sponges. That kitchen sponge gets wet and stays moist, so bacteria grow like crazy. The most E. coli and other fecal-based bacteria found in the average home are on a sponge or cleaning cloth. This is what people are using to clean their dishes and kitchens?
11. Airplane bathrooms. In 2014, a microbiologist swabbed the bathroom door, faucet handle, toilet, sink, and a tray table on a flight from San Francisco to Phoenix. The lab results showed that, “the airplane’s bathroom sink was by far the dirtiest with almost half a million bacteria present including fecal bacteria in the tiny airplane sink.”
12. ATM machines and debit cards. We all know currency is filthy, but what about the credit and debit cards sitting in your wallet? A researcher at the University of London found 47 percent of the credit cards tested sported high levels of bacteria. This included E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus. No one ever things to clean their credit and debit cards.
13. Hotel TV remotes. “About 81 percent of hotel room surfaces sampled held at least some fecal bacteria. And television remotes are, in fact, among the most bacteria-laden surfaces, ranking up there with toilets and bathroom sinks,” reports Scientific American.
14. Refrigerators. Most of them test positive for E. coli. This makes sense considering the fact that raw meat and other foods are stored in them.
15. Ice. One study showed that 70% of the ice served in fast food restaurants in the US had more bacteria than toilet water. I think I will pass on the ice next time.
16. Restaurant menus. On average there are 100 times more bacteria on restaurant menus than a restaurant toilet seat.
17. Chopping boards. Because raw meat carries a high level of fecal bacteria they are pretty much covered in poop.
18. Toothbrushes. When you flush your toilet, the germs can travel up to 6 feet and linger for up to two hours. A lot of them end up on your toothbrush and that’s just another reason to close the lid before flushing.
19. Carpet. It has 200,000 bacteria per square inch. That makes carpets 4,000 times dirtier than toilet seats.
20. Reusable shopping bags. They have more fecal matter than your underwear, assuming you wash your underwear like a normal person.
21. Door knobs. Hands are one of the dirtiest parts of the body and that is what you use to open a door. So there you have it.
22. Kitchen sink. Your kitchen sink is probably dirtier than your whole bathroom put together.
23. Women’s handbags. They contain money, cell phones, and dirty hands touch them all over. Plus they are put on the floors at various places.
24. Bathtub. You’re supposed to get clean here. However, the area around the drain can have up to 19,468 bacteria per square inch.
25. Pillows. Dead skin cells, dust mites, fungal spores, pollen, and other body secretions are all on that fluffy little slice of heaven you lay your head on at night.
Now for the good news. As you can see we encounter all of this fecal bacteria day in and day out. Very few of us get sick or die from it. So keep washing your hands and taking care of yourself to keep a healthy immune system. Everything’s going to be okay. Apparently a little bit of poop never hurt anyone.