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Marina
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God Bless my donor family!! :)

« on: September 07, 2011, 08:01:05 AM »

Worst Germ Hot Spots
http://www.medhelp.org/healthy-living/slideshows/17-Germiest-Places/73

What's the dirtiest place you regularly come into contact with? No, it's not the toilet. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average office desk may harbor 400 times more germs than the toilet seat. And the ATM machine may be no cleaner than the doorknob of a public restroom. Dozens of everyday objects you touch can be crawling with potent viruses and bacteria, poised to make you sick. Read on to discover 17 of germiest places you encounter and how you can clean up your act.

At Home: The Kitchen
The sponges and dishrags you use to scrub counters and plates are actually teeming with bacteria, such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus and E. coli, according to the University of Arizona. To keep your scrubbers (and your kitchen!) germ-free, microwave sponges or run them through the dishwasher. Microwaving sponges for one minute kills 99.99999 percent of bacteria present on them, while dishwashing with a dry cycle kills 99.9998 percent of bacteria, according to a study done by microbiologists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Food Technology and Safety Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. 

At Home: The Bathroom
What's the dirtiest spot on the bathroom? (Hint, it's not the toilet.) The bathtub, shower curtain, sink and even your toothbrush and toothbrush holder harbor tons of bacteria - and don't receive the same scouring your commode does. Disinfect the entire bathroom once a week with an antibacterial cleaner or a bleach solution. Also, change your shower curtain liner regularly, spritz your bathtub basin and tiles daily with a shower cleaner and replace your toothbrush once a month (or after you've gotten over a cold).

At Home: TV Remote
How often do you wipe down the remote? Probably never. Yet you (and every member of your household) curl up with it when you're sick and touch it with food-soiled hands while eating in front of the TV. To keep bacteria buildup at bay, wipe all remotes with a disinfectant wipe every other day, especially if someone is sick. (Don't forget video game consoles, too, if you have one.)

The Office: Your Desk
Whether it's from eating at your desk, pawing the keyboard or phone or grabbing the shared stapler, you can touch more than 30 bacteria-ridden surfaces in your own personal workspace in under a minute, says CNN.com. Some viruses and bacteria can live and potentially infect a person for two hours or longer after being deposited on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs and desks (the flu virus can last up to eight hours!), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). De-bug your work by cleansing your keyboard, mouse, phone and desk with disinfectant wipes once a week. Also, be sure to clean coffee pot handles, doorknobs and other common surfaces daily.

The Office: Elevator Buttons
Touched by everyone who works in your high rise and anyone who visits, these buttons are overrun with germs. Politely ask someone else to push the button to your destination or, if you're riding solo, use a knuckle to hit your floor and then wash your hands with soap and hot water once you reach your destination.

On You: Money
Research suggests that money can buy you more than material objects; it can buy you sick days, too. Paper currency is commonly contaminated with bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and pneumonia, according to the Southern Medical Journal, while SmartMoney.com has proven that several strains of the flu virus can live on bank notes for 10 to 17 days. Because paper money is traded between hands at a high exchange rate, keep bills inside your wallet to keep bacteria from spreading to your clothes or other objects in your purse. And wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after each transaction.

On You: Cell Phone
You take this little device everywhere - the grocery store, PTA meetings and some even take it into the bathroom. So any germs that your cell phone picks up from a grimy checkout counter, a dirty school desk or the top of the toilet are immediately transmitted to your hands, cheeks, ears and mouth at your first hello. Because disease-causing pathogens can thrive for weeks on your phone, cleanse it with a disinfecting wipe daily.

On You: Handbags and Backpacks
Like your cell phone, your handbag or backpack travels anywhere you do. But unlike your mobile device, your bag spends the majority of its time sitting on the floor of restaurants, bathroom stalls and the bus or subway floor. These places can be hotbeds of germs, like E. coli and Salmonella, which happily hitch a ride on the bottom of your bag and get deposited wherever you put your purse down - like the kitchen counter or dining room table. Whether you're at home or out and about, hang your bag up off the floor and brush off any extra dust and dirt. If possible, wash or wipe down your bag regularly with warm soapy water to reduce germs. 

The Gym: Machines
Working out can help boost your immunity, but touching the communal machines at the gym can lead to harmful health issues. According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, gym equipment provides the perfect living environment for many different types of fungi, viruses and bacteria that cause painful skin diseases. Before you jump on a machine, fully bandage all open wounds to prevent infection, and, after your workout, make sure you practice excellent hand hygiene.

The Gym: Mats
While you may use your mat to channel full body relaxation, the bacteria from the gym floor, your hands and your feet are working double time to make your mat a germ-infested environment, says Health magazine. What to do? Wipe down the mat with disinfecting wipes before and after each use and wash your hands right after touching it. If it's your own mat, also scrub it down with warm soapy water at least once a week.

The Gym: Communal Showers
Crawling on the tiles of the communal showers in places like gym locker rooms is an extremely contagious form of ringworm, otherwise known as athlete's foot. When picked up by bare feet, the athlete's foot fungus can infect the skin under your toenails, between your toes and on the soles of your feet, according to Medicinenet.com. Remember to put a layer between you and these germs by donning flip flops as soon as you remove your sneakers and make sure to wear them in the shower, too.

The Mall: Make-Up Testers
Do you try on new makeup or touch up your mascara and lipstick with the free testers at your favorite cosmetics counter? According to Prevention magazine, not only can bacteria like Staphylococcus and E. coli be crawling on the outer casings of make-up testers, but herpes can be contracted if the previous lipstick applier had a cold sore, while pinkeye can emerge from contaminated eye pencils and mascara. The safest route when it comes to sampling make-up: don't use testers at all. Try out a new lipstick shade on the back of your hand and wash up before and after testing, says Prevention.

Public Places: ATM Buttons
Grabbing some quick cash at the ATM may mean that you are picking up more than just a couple of extra bucks. Arthritis Today magazine says ATM buttons carry more bacteria than the doorknobs of most public bathrooms. Next time you make a stop at the bank, use your knuckle to enter your PIN and then follow up with a lathering of alcohol-based gel to rid your hands of grime from the machine and from the dough it dispensed.

Public Places: Grocery Store
Not only are shopping carts touched by hundreds of hands daily (and by a few mouths and tongues of youngsters sitting behind the handlebars), but they also harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, states ABC News. Before you begin your shopping spree, wipe down the cart handle with a disinfectant wipe, which many grocery stores now provide. And don't pop any food like free samples in your mouth without washing your hands first. 

Airplane: Air
Trapped on a plane in close proximity with 100 or more passengers is the perfect recipe for the spread of germs. According to The Today Show, germs that cause the common cold and the flu can be spread through "infected" plane air as can more serious airborne diseases such as tuberculosis, meningitis and SARS. Practice good hand hygiene and wear a mask for extra protection. If you are sick, respect your health and the health of others by postponing your flight until you are better.

Airplane: Bathroom
Using the restroom on a plane is something that most dread, but on long flights it's unavoidable. With the toilet, the sink and the counter packed into a room not much larger than your seat, one flush causes the E. coli in the toilet bowl to spray onto the faucet handles, the counters and the door handle, according to SmarterTravel.com. After a thorough hand washing, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door. Once back at your seat, follow up with a dollop of hand sanitizer gel for good measure.

Airplane: Seats
While airplane travelers come and go fairly quickly, the bacteria on their hands, clothes and luggage remain permanent passengers, occupying the seats, armrests, pillows and blankets. To avoid bringing extra visitors home from your trip, SmarterTravel.com suggests wiping down armrests and tray tables with disinfectant wipes (since germs can live on these surfaces for an entire day), refraining from placing items in the seatback pockets, and bringing your own pillow and blanket for those up-in-the-air naps; just remember to wash them as soon as you get home.
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kristina
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 03:18:03 PM »


Thanks Marina for sharing this information with us.

I did not know that microwaving sponges for one minute cleans them so well.

Thanks again from Kristina.
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 10:02:01 AM »

The part about the bathroom states that the toilet is not the dirtiest place and that is why I always clean my toothbrush out in the toilet.   :yahoo;
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CebuShan
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 10:19:36 AM »

I remember seeing a report on public restrooms. It said that the "cleanest" stall to use is the first one. Most people choose to use one a little further down the line. I now try to always use the first stall if I have to!
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RightSide
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 05:47:24 PM »

It's possible to catch a cold by handling an object that a cold sufferer has already sneezed or coughed on--and then transferring those viruses to your mouth or eyes.

Which led me to wonder:  How long can cold viruses survive on environmental surfaces?

Here's a scientific study that tried to find out:


Survival of human rhinovirus type 14 dried onto nonporous inanimate
surfaces: effect of relative humidity and suspending medium.
Sattar SA,      Karim YG,      Springthorpe VS,      Johnson-Lussenburg
CM     
Can J Microbiol (1987 Sep) 33(9):802-6       ISSN: 0008-4166

Abstract

 To study the survival of human rhinovirus 14 on environmental surfaces,
each stainless steel disk (1 cm in diameter) was contaminated with 10
microL (about 10(5) plaque-forming units) of the virus suspended in
either 1 chi tryptose phosphate broth (TPB), 5 mg/mL of bovine mucin in
normal saline, or undiluted human nasal discharge.  The inoculum was
dried in a laminar flow cabinet for 1 h under ambient conditions.  The
disks were then placed in a glass chamber (20 +/- 1 degree C) with the
relative humidity at either low (20 +/- 5%), medium (50 +/- 5%), or high
(80 +/- 5%) level.  At appropriate intervals, the disk to be tested was
placed in 1 mL of tryptose phosphate broth and the eluate titrated in
A-5 HeLa cells.  When the virus was suspended in either tryptose
phosphate broth, mucin, or the nasal discharge and subjected to initial
drying, there was a 3.0 +/- 1.0, 82.0 +/- 6.7, and 89.0 +/- 3.0% loss in
virus infectivity, respectively.  The half-life of the TPB-suspended
virus was about 14 h at the high relative humidity as compared with less
than 2 h at the other two relative humidity levels.  The half-lives for
the mucin-suspended virus at the high, medium, and low relative humidity
were 1.42, 0.55, and 0.24 h, respectively; the corresponding values for
the nasal discharge suspended virus being 0.17, 0.25, and 0.09 h.



So it looks like once the snot has dried, the half-life of virus suspended in the snot is around 15 minutes (depending on ambient humidity).  That means that after 3 hours, only 1/4096 of the original virus still lives, comparable to what you would have left if you had used Lysol on that environmental surface immediately.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 05:54:58 PM by RightSide » Logged
billybags
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 11:24:57 AM »

I have to smile. When you have to go to a public loo (ladies) Do your stuff, wash your hands then you  have to touch the filthy door handle to exit. One woman I know always gets extra paper to open the door with.
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Poppylicious
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 01:37:48 PM »

I have to smile. When you have to go to a public loo (ladies) Do your stuff, wash your hands then you  have to touch the filthy door handle to exit. One woman I know always gets extra paper to open the door with.
That makes me laugh.  It's like with turning the tap off after washing your hands, even though you turned it on with dirty hands, and so effectively making your hands dirty again. 

*shrug*

Even worse: ladies who leave droplet/s of wee on the toilet seat.  That always makes me shudder and retch. 
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 01:53:03 PM »

Even worse: ladies who leave droplet/s of wee on the toilet seat.  That always makes me shudder and retch. 

Oh, I totally agree! I usually take my little bottle of hand sanitizer and some TP to take care of it but only if I have to go so bad I won't make it to another stall!
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