Germs we don’t give a second thought to.

Many women who fear the germs of public toilet seats don’t think twice about placing their purses down on the floor of the bathroom stall. Not only that, they also set them on the floor while riding the bus, or while dining at a restaurant, or while dancing at a nightclub, or on the bedspread at a hotel (see above). And then, when they get home, they set that same purse on the kitchen counter or the dining room table while they rifle through the daily mail or check their phone messages.

Nelson Laboratories of Salt Lake City tested a random selection of ladies’ purses: those belonging to moms, executive types, and swinging singles. What did they find? Pseudomonas, staphylococcus aurous, salmonella, and e-coli. Many of the handbags had fecal contamination, and those belonging to the women that frequented dance clubs also had traces of vomit. In layman’s terms, the pocketbooks were infested with harmful bacteria, the types that can cause all sorts of infections.

I’m guilty as charged, although it does cross my mind and I’m often grossed out by this. 

But wait! That’s not all! Here’s a list of things dirtier than a toilet seat! Sad thing: there’s not much (within the realm of social norms) that we can really do to avoid most of it. Redeeming thing: nothing dreadfully horrible has been spread by these vectors to the masses. Thing that’s good to do: wash hands* and not panic.

*while pushing a rigged foot petal to turn on the faucet.

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