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Household Hot Spots: Where Does the Bacteria Lurk?

Just when you thought you were safe, WebMD is here to tell you that your house may be germier than you think. Plus all those bacterial hot spots might not be where you would expect them to be.

According to a new study performed by The Hygiene Council, the common household toilet bowl is home to the most bacteria per square inch. Not surprising is the fact that the Hygiene Council is funded by Reckitt Benckiser, the company that makes Lysol. I find that almost as interesting as the fact that the area around the bathtub drain contains more bacteria than the bathroom floor.

Interested in seeing all the rankings? Then

1. Toilet bowl: 3.2 million bacteria/square inch
2. Kitchen drain: 567,845 bacteria/square inch
3. Sponge or counter-wiping cloth: 134,630 bacteria/square inch
4. Bathtub, near drain: 119,468 bacteria/square inch
5. Kitchen sink, near drain: 17,964 bacteria/square inch
6. Kitchen faucet handle: 13,227 bacteria/square inch
7. Bathroom faucet handle: 6,267 bacteria/square inch
8. Bathroom sink, near drain: 2,733 bacteria/square inch
9. Pet food dish, inside rim: 2,110 bacteria/square inch
10. Kitchen floor, in front of sink: 830 bacteria/square inch
11. Toilet floor, in front of toilet: 764 bacteria/square inch
12. Kitchen counter top: 488 bacteria/square inch
13. Bathroom counter top: 452 bacteria/square inch
14. Garbage bin: 411 bacteria/square inch
15. Dish towel: 408 bacteria/square inch
16. Toy: 345 bacteria/square inch
17. Kitchen tabletop: 344 bacteria/square inch
18. Home office phone or refrigerator door: 319 bacteria/square inch
19. Toilet seat: 295 bacteria/square inch
20. Bathroom light switch: 217 bacteria/square inch
21. Microwave buttons: 214 bacteria/square inch
22. Kitchen chopping board: 194 bacteria/square inch
23. Child-training potty: 191 bacteria/square inch
24. Infant changing mat and infant high chair: 190 bacteria/square inch
25. Kitchen phone: 133 bacteria/square inch
26. Bathroom door's inside handle: 121 bacteria/square inch
27. Toilet's flush handle: 83 bacteria/square inch
28. TV remote control: 70 bacteria/square inch
29. Home office computer keyboard: 64 bacteria/square inch
30. Home office computer mouse: 50 bacteria/square inch

Now that I have turned you into a germ-a-phobe, I just want to remind you that the CDC recommends washing hand thoroughly for 15 seconds with soap.

Source

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Join The Conversation
poetess poetess 8 years
Makes me itchy.
poetess poetess 8 years
Makes me itchy.
tinywhale tinywhale 8 years
We need bacteria to keep our immune-system working. All this increase in Allergies and Autoimmune-diseases lately has happened because of our diminished contact with (harmless) bacteria. I live in Europe, where we don't have this germ-phobia (yet) and I am always astonished when I come to the US with all this marketing of antibacterial products. It is a huge phobia that keeps the market running and does no good to people. Look at it as a training for your immune-system - the less contact with bacteria, the more vulnerable it will be. And in the case of autoimmune-diseases (if it is called so in English) it does even attack the own organism because it has "nothing to do". So a "healthy" amount of germs around us is not a bad thing at all.
tinywhale tinywhale 8 years
We need bacteria to keep our immune-system working. All this increase in Allergies and Autoimmune-diseases lately has happened because of our diminished contact with (harmless) bacteria. I live in Europe, where we don't have this germ-phobia (yet) and I am always astonished when I come to the US with all this marketing of antibacterial products. It is a huge phobia that keeps the market running and does no good to people.Look at it as a training for your immune-system - the less contact with bacteria, the more vulnerable it will be. And in the case of autoimmune-diseases (if it is called so in English) it does even attack the own organism because it has "nothing to do".So a "healthy" amount of germs around us is not a bad thing at all.
ccy ccy 8 years
This is why it's handy to have a spray bottle with 2 cups water and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons bleach handy in the kitchen and bathroom!
facin8me facin8me 8 years
I think a better study would ask "how many pathogenic bacteria per square inch?" Who cares if your kitchen faucet has 13,227 bacteria per sq. inch if none of them will make you sick? In fact, bacteria in your environment can be a good thing (unless you're really immunocompromised) because if a pathogen is introduced to the environment, the established bacterial population will prevent the pathogen's overgrowth, if not keep it from growing at all. The best way to keep yourself free of infections is to wash your hands with warm soap and water (not antibacterial soap!) and to cook your food thoroughly!
facin8me facin8me 8 years
I think a better study would ask "how many pathogenic bacteria per square inch?" Who cares if your kitchen faucet has 13,227 bacteria per sq. inch if none of them will make you sick? In fact, bacteria in your environment can be a good thing (unless you're really immunocompromised) because if a pathogen is introduced to the environment, the established bacterial population will prevent the pathogen's overgrowth, if not keep it from growing at all. The best way to keep yourself free of infections is to wash your hands with warm soap and water (not antibacterial soap!) and to cook your food thoroughly!
rubialala rubialala 8 years
:SICK: I'd say that I feel like I need to take a shower, but apparently my bathroom isn't that clean!
Seraphim Seraphim 8 years
ewwwwwwwww
Seraphim Seraphim 8 years
ewwwwwwwww
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