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Life & Style
Oct 16 2012 12:03PM
Your credit card is like a 'dirty toilet bowl'?
One in 10 bank cards and one in seven bills were found to be contaminated with fecal matter. Picture: AFP
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Its more than your hands you need to wash! One in 10 bank cards and one in seven bills were found to be contaminated with fecal matter, according to a study.

Announced on Monday, the study is the latest to be carried out by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, alerting us to the fact we live in a cesspool of filth.

The research team did get backing from Radox Handwash soap products, but nonetheless, the results do supply your gross-out du jour

The team took bacterial samples from hands, credit cards, and currency in various formats from cities in the UK, including London, Birmingham, and Liverpool.

Findings revealed that more than a quarter of hands sampled showed traces of E. coli. Also, 11% of hands, eight percent of cards, and 6% of bank notes showed "gross contamination - where the levels of bacteria detected were equal to that you would expect to find in a dirty toilet bowl," claims a press release.

Rather than bathing your money in a bucket of bleach, the solution is to simply wash your hands, frequently with soap and water.

Picture: AFP

"If you eat or drink something without washing your hands, or if you touch your own nose, mouth, or eyes after shaking someone's hand, you can introduce whatever germ was on their hand, and now your hand, into the portals of your body," said Philip M. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Medical Center, in an interview with health website WebMD.

You can also lightly wipe down your credit cards with a sanitizer, advises Money Blue Book website. While the idea of touching fecal matter isn't pleasing, credit cards can harbor flu bugs during peak seasons, so it's not a bad idea to keep each housed in its own plastic case in your wallet so it doesn't touch other cards or any money.


If you thought the toilet is the most germ infested place, you thought wrong. A recent study revealed that the germ fest is actually on your cellphone.

In a series of tests conducted by researchers at University of Arizona, cellphones had 10 times the amount of bacteria which can cause nausea and stomach problems as compared to a toilet, Herald Sun reported.

According Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, this is because phones are often passed around from person to person which might spread the germs around but they are rarely cleaned.

"When somebody lets a friend or a stranger use their mobile their bacteria easily gets onto the device too," Charles Gerba said.

Toilets however tend to get cleaned frequently, because people associate the bathroom with germs, while handled objects like remote controls are often left out of the cleaning routine, Times of India reported.

Computer keyboards, cash machines, bathroom door handles, restaurant menus are also some of the objects dirtier than the average toilet seat.

And Oh...that vending machine that has become your best friend, the office refrigerator door that you open on a day to day basis; a study also suggests you give it a quick clean before you touch it.

Backed by American cleaning and paper product manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Professional, the study researchers swabbed some 4,800 surfaces in office buildings, such as law firms and health care companies, housing some 3,000 employees.

"The swabs were run through a device that measures Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP, the energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacteria, yeast, and mold cells," researchers say.



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