Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Germy Public Places

Although the vast majority of germs are benign and will not get us sick, there are about 100 different bacterial species that aren’t so “friendly.”  So what are these germs and where are they found? Read on, you may find this information pretty useful!
Researchers from Kimberly-Clark analyzed over 350 swabs from cities across the country for levels of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.  ATPs signal the presence of vegetable, animal, yeast, bacteria or mold cells.  If an object has a reading over 300, it is considered to have a high risk for illness transmission.  Out of the objects tested, here is the over 300 ATP reading breakdown they found:
·         71% of gas pump handles
·         68% of mailbox handles
·         43% of escalator rails
·         41% of ATM buttons
·         40% of parking meters
·         35% of crosswalk buttons
·         35% of vending machine buttons
Once these germs reach a person’s hand, it can easily transfer to other objects up to seven times before leaving the skin!
One of the best things we can do to prevent illness and the spread of germs is to wash our hands thoroughly and frequently!  Here is Hand Washing 101 from the CDC:
1.       Apply soap (the foam soaps are great for kids!)
2.       Lather up the soap and scrub all surfaces
3.       Continue for 20 seconds!  It is longer than you think…
4.       Rinse your hands well and dirty them with an air dryer or paper towels.
When you can’t get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer free from harmful chemicals.  Avoid antibacterials with triclosan, a chemical that is harmful to the environment and believed to be an endocrine disruptor.  For more information on other germy public places in America, check out the links below!
~ Jess
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