Germs are hiding in your home

The average hand harbors 150 species of bacteria — some harmless, some beneficial and others capable of causing illness.

The average hand harbors 150 species of bacteria — some harmless, some beneficial and others capable of causing illness. It is important to disinfect areas where germs are hiding. Below are findings from an in-home bacteria study conducted by the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College School in Boston.

• Light switches and door handles — Keeping these areas clean is not easy. A bathroom light switch can have as many germs as the trash bin. Disinfect twice a week, or every day if a member of your household is sick.

• Computer keyboards, mice, trackballs and phones — Clean these areas often, as they all have high germ counts.

• TV remote — Many people watch TV while they absent-mindedly chew their fingernails, snack on food or blow their noses, leaving all kinds of bacteria on the remote. Make sure to clean and sanitize it regularly.

• Tub and shower — Disinfect showers and tubs twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells that can carry germs. A bathtub may have 100 times more bacteria than the trash can.

• Kitchen cloths and sponges — Seventy percent of kitchen sponges in U.S. homes failed the hygiene test due to high levels of bacteria. Run sponges through the dishwasher regularly and wash kitchen cloths on the hot cycle in the washing machine.

• Microwave and oven touch screens — These areas are notorious for not getting cleaned and they can be very germ-ridden, especially after cooking raw meat. Also, do not forget your spice bottles and salt and pepper shakers.

• Kitchen faucets and refrigerator door handles — Half of faucets and door handles in American homes are covered in bacteria. Typically people wash their hands after handling raw meat in the kitchen, but they touch the faucet to turn on the water without thinking about the bacteria they leave.

• Baby changing table — The changing table and surrounding area should be cleaned often. When changing a diaper, the baby wipes container, diaper packaging, trash can and anything around the changing area get contaminated with bacteria.

• Pet food dish — Most pet dishes are not washed regularly.

 

Sources: Chicago Tribune, August 16, 2009, and Mercola.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  5, Oct/Nov 2009.

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