You may get sick from germs present in the most unexpected of places.
Germs are everywhere, and 99 percent of them don’t do much harm. However, the rest can lead to illness. And while you may think you’ve got the formula cracked in avoiding germs, you may be surprised that some of the most germ-infested places are those that you consider harmless. You may already avoid obvious offenders (i.e. public toilets), but germs often lurk unnoticed.
Are these culprits making you sick?
1. Cell Phone
This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Cellphones carry up to ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats. You cellphone is often in close proximity to your face, mouth, ears, nose, and hands. Meanwhile, it is placed on a variety of surfaces throughout the day and oftentimes passed to other people to use.
2. Lemon Slice
If you’re a stickler for details, this one’s for you. In a study from the Journal of Environmental Health, it was found that some 70 percent of the lemon wedges placed on restaurant glasses carried disease-causing microbes, including fecal bacteria and E. coli.
Dishtowels are chockfull of bacteria. In one study, approximately 7 percent of kitchen towels were contaminated with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a staph bacteria that is difficult to treat and can cause life-threatening infections. Dishtowels are also vulnerable to E. coli and other bacteria strains.
4. Refrigerator Seal
Take a look at your refrigerator seal right now and you may not have to read any further to understand why it’s such a hotspot for germs. The refrigerator seal is what lines the door so that it can close fully. In one study, the seal around the fridge in various households around the U.S. tested positive 83 percent of the time for common molds.
5. Soap Dispensers
You may want to consider NOT washing your hands after using a public toilet. Ironic, but advisable. Why, you may ask? Some 25 percent of public restroom soap dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria.
6. Vacuum Cleaner
Another ironic place to find bacteria is in the vacuum cleaner. What is meant to clean your home and rid it of dirt and debris may actually be spreading E. coli and fecal matter. A study discovered that 13 percent of all vacuum cleaner brushes are positive for E. coli and 50 percent for fecal bacteria.
7. The Car
The car is paradise for germs. On average there are 10,000 bacteria per four square inches. The number of people coming in and out of the car is surely to blame, but even more incriminating is the ventilation and exposure to sun. Bacteria creep in through the vents and are drawn to the dashboard, where the sun is most likely to hit. Warmth leads to bacteria growth, and the rest is your common cold waiting to happen.
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Lemon Glass in Water Image from Shutterstock