L The List
- 1You better have as much tolerance for the dirt on your bills as you have for the love of money itself, because you won't be escaping money's bacteria any time soon.
From the store cashier to the drug dealer's cocaine to the homeless man on the street, there's an enormous amount of bacteria on every buckaroo in your pocket. Dr. Darlington (yep, that's the name), the Health Commissioner of New York, found 135,000 bacteria from washing one bill and 126,000 from another. In other words, experts have long been afraid that paper money could be the source of a contagion outbreak.
It's about time to put on those latex gloves. Or encase yourself in a plastic bubble.
- 2Somebody'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 fat stacks of cash (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?
- 3The computer's your friend (except when it freezes on you in the most pivotal moments of life. Damn you, rainbow wheel!) 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.
- 4Forget the dog. Cell phones are a modern (wo)man's best friend. Heck, the average person probably touches, taps, or strokes his or her cell phone more times than they pet their neglected pooch at home.
New research from the United Kingdom show that mobile phones are a technological petri dish for tens and thousands of germs, mainly due to the heat that they generate as well as the bacteria it shares with your hands and face. Next time, consider an anti-microbial coating for your phone or frequent anti-bacterial wipe-downs. Or sterile rubber gloves every time you touch or use your phone, always disposing of them in a furnace immediately afterward.
- 5Though the toilet seat has been good to you on many a bad days, its porcelain white surface is party-host to all sorts of diseases and viruses. Statistics show that there are 295 bacteria for every square inch of the cold, smooth surface. Though that's not as bad as the 3.2 million on the toilet bowl, it's still not a place to rest your head on at night – or in the morning.
- 6Sorry 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...
items 1 - 6 of 13