The germy items we're surrounded by daily
Our personal items are grosser than we think. Here’s what might be living on your phone, your gym clothes, your handbag…
Mobile phones deliver more than messages: According to University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, PhD – aka Dr Germ – these electronic wonders are often coated with everything from faecal matter to MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant evil cousin of staph. “Sharing your phone can make the problem even worse,” he explains. “The bacteria that lives on your skin probably won’t make you sick, but someone else’s just might if you rub your eye or eat before washing your hands.” The solution? “Wipe your phone down with an alcohol-based towelette at least once a day,” advises Dr Gerba.
Your handbag or backpack
Purses go where we go: to the store, to restaurants and to the bathroom, where, more often than not, they’re plopped onto the floor. Then you come home, toss it onto the kitchen counter, and go through the mail. Guess what you’ve left on your counter, waiting for you to start dinner? Dr Gerba says probably an icky mess of E. coli and other germs.