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Parents & Educators

Parents and Educators

“Every day, we are in intimate contact with millions, even trillions of microorganisms; they live on us, in us, and around us.  Out of this large hoard, relatively few microorganisms (likely less than 1 per cent) are able to inflict any noticeable damage or cause a disease; these are the pathogens or 'germs'.”

Below is a list of germs that people come into contact with every day.

Office desk

A study funded by The Clorox Company showed that the average desk harbours 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Out of twelve surfaces tested, the toilet seat had the lowest level of bacteria.   

According to the study, the dirtiest spots in the office are:

  • telephones (usually the worst, by far)
  • desktops
  • water fountain handles
  • microwave door handles
  • computer keyboards

Grocery and Retail Stores

Stores need to be thought of as being potentially contaminated and shoppers need to wash their hands when they get home and avoid touching your face. Shopping cart handles are a breeding ground for germs that could cause illnesses. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes are an excellent alternative to hand washing when soap and water isn't available. 

Money is completely contaminated with germs.

What is found on paper money is usually similar to what is found on our hands at any given time.  And the metal in coins is an anti-bacterial agent so they are even better.  But both items, like anything that gets touched regularly, does have germs on it.

The washing machine is full of bacteria and mildew spores. 

A professor at the University of Tucson in Arizona swabbed 100 washing machines and found 44 of them contained fecal bacteria.  Avoid this by running a cycle of hot water and bleach once a month.

Leave the lid up between loads to dry out the machine.  

The kitchen sink is lined with germs.

A study conducted by the University of Arizona's Charles P. Gerba, Ph.D., and his team found that disinfecting household bleach and bleach-based cleaning products are one of the most effective ways to disinfect surfaces in the kitchen and the bathroom.  By properly using the right products to clean and disinfect, you'll eliminate 99.9 per cent of germs.

Just because a surface looks clean doesn't mean that germs are gone.  In fact, the University of Arizona study also found that antibacterial household cleaning products like dish detergents and hand soaps cannot actually disinfect surfaces.  And the numbers they found after using antibacterial cleaning products is shocking:

  • 300 germs per square centimetre on kitchen countertops.
  • 10,000 per square centimetre on bathroom faucets.
  • And a whopping 100 million per square centimetre on sponges and dishcloths!

A daily rinse with soap and water is best and an extra-good scrub with hot, soapy water when you prepare raw meat or poultry. 

The most effective thing you can do in the battle against germs is wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom.  This, above anything else, will keep you healthy.