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Life & Style
Oct 15 2012 11:55AM
You need to wash those hands!
Global Handwashing Day. Picture: Reuters
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TNA Reporter and Relaxnews

Considering our hands come into contact with many germ infested areas on a daily basis more than any other part of our bodies, this Global Handwashing Day it might be a good idea to remember how important it is to wash our hands the right way.

As a public health initiative designed to get kids to properly scrub their hands, Global Hand  Washing Day happens every year on October 15.

While the initiative was initially aimed at teaching children about the importance of washing their hands with soap, its also a reminder to millions of people that washing hands with soap could save your life.

Picture: AFP

According to Global handwashing. org washing hands with soap is an 'effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections particularly among children.'


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.

Picture: AFP

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.

Picture: AFP

When the device reads 100 or more, the surface could use a good scrubbing, according to the release. Higher readings, such as 300 or more, and you've got some serious contamination on your hands, literally.

This study demonstrates that contamination can be spread throughout the workplace when office workers heat up lunch, make coffee, or simply type on their keyboards, the research says.

Some of the germ hotspots in the office with readings of 300 or more include:

• 75% of break room sink-faucet handles
• 48% of microwave door handles
• 27% of keyboards
• 26% of refrigerator door handles
• 23% of water fountain buttons
• 21% of vending machine buttons

Places in your office that "could be cleaner," with readings of more than 100:

• 91% of break room sink-faucet handles
• 80% of microwave door handles
• 69% of keyboards
• 69% of refrigerator door handles
• 53% of water fountain buttons
• 51% of computer mice
• 51% of desk phones
• 48% of coffee pots and dispensers
• 43% of vending machine buttons

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