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The Dirtiest Bacteria That Spreads Disease: Caution!

Updated on March 18, 2012
We spread germs more than first thought, yet there's no reason to get sick. It's all up to you!
We spread germs more than first thought, yet there's no reason to get sick. It's all up to you!

Avoiding Colds, the Flu, and More

Kimberly Clark just did a survey that's pertinent to us all. They went to six, major U.S. cities to determine the "dirtiest" objects we encounter on our way to work and at the office. These are objects that we ALL touch that can spread colds and flu.

The study emphasizes the need for cleanliness and good personal hygiene to maintain good health. After all, the average company loses $1,685 per employee due to them being absent, or showing up at work sick.(1)


1. Stewart, W.F., Ricci, J. A., Chee, E., Morganstein, D.(2003). Lost productive work time costs from health conditions in the United States: results from the American Productivity Audit. J Occup Environ Med 45.12 1234-46.


Gas pumps are the dirtiest of them all! Wash your hands AFTER pumping gas!
Gas pumps are the dirtiest of them all! Wash your hands AFTER pumping gas!

Bacteria: What the Researchers Found!

Researchers measured the levels of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) on common objects we encounter. Any with an ATP reading of 300 or higher are considered to be at high risk to transmit illness.

Here's the "Dirtiest Seven" that they found, in order of the highest percentage levels of contamination:

  1. Gas Pump Handles
  2. Mailbox Handles
  3. Escalator Rails
  4. ATM Buttons
  5. Parking Meters/Kiosks
  6. Crosswalk Buttons
  7. Vending Machine Buttons


The solution is so easy! Wash your hands throughout the day to prevent illness!
The solution is so easy! Wash your hands throughout the day to prevent illness!

Don't Get Sick: An Easy Solution...

This study is dramatic because it proves that the most common objects, that many of us use on a daily basis, are highly contaminated with bacteria that spreads illness.

You get your gas tank filled on the way to work, stop at the ATM machine, grab the escalator rail on the way to your office... and then you touch your face, most particularly your eyes, nose or mouth... and Voila! You're on your way to getting a cold or flu and even worse, to contaminating those around you!

The Solution: Wash your hands! As soon as you get to work, do it! Then wash your hands throughout the day and the first thing when you get home from work! It's so simple to avoid getting the colds and flu, and to avoid passing it onto others...


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    • Dee42 profile image

      Dee42 

      6 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

      Very interesting, and SO TRUE! I'm a nurse assistant, and you are right on the money. Ya got a good hub on a good soothing lotion for my hands? With all the gel and washing, my poor dry hands say "Help us".

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