The Dirtiest Things to Touch

I just got back from filling up the car. Maybe I shouldn’t have, after reading one of our news stories tonight. A new study found gas pump handles are some of the dirtiest surfaces we touch. I know, it’s one of those studies that aren’t that shocking, but still get us thinking.

The study was by Kimberly-Clark (which, by the way, makes hand wipes and cleansers). Trained hygienists tested surfaces in half a dozen cities and found 71% of gas pump handles had high levels of contamination. Also on the list? Mailbox handles, escalator rails and ATM buttons. More filthy stuff? Parking meters, cross walk buttons and buttons on vending machines in shopping malls. “It comes down to the fact that nobody cleans the things that you’re going to touch on a daily basis,” said Kimberly-Clark’s Dr. Kelly Arehart. The lesson here? Don’t ever fill up your car.  Stay away from ATMs.  Wash your hands often.

The results of other research (also in our newscast tonight) makes me feel better, if not cleaner. It shows coffee may help ward off the most common type of skin cancer.

The study found men and women who drink more than three cups of coffee a day (compared to those who rarely drink coffee) have a lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma. The risk is lower for women (20%) than men (9%). And the study found drinking coffee did not affect the risk of developing the two other forms of skin cancer. The reason why? They don’t know.

Coffee has been the target of many studies. The results are mostly good. Here’s a list of what it’s said to do:

  • Helps prevent other cancers, including those in your head and neck.
  • Reduces depression in women.
  • Cuts risk of heart disease.
  • Increases the risk of miscarriages for women.
  • Protects thinking and memory skills.

Lots of studies on the effects of drinking coffee.  If only half are correct, it looks like we’d all live to be 200. But here’s the one that got me dying of laughter. There was a study a while back that found those who drank lots of coffee thought they were hearing voices in their head.

“What’s that? What did you say? Don’t touch that gas pump handle? Sorry. Too late.  I wish I would have listened to you earlier.”

One Comment on “The Dirtiest Things to Touch

  1. We, in Oregon, do not pump our own gas! We love it that way! No sales tax, either. But it’s GREAT to have those disinfectant large wipes on hand, when one touchs the other dirty things you mentioned, including shopping carts, etc . Wal Mart provides them at the door. We provide them throughout the house, plus the liquid hand disinfectant plastic bottles. One can’t be too careful with this flu season coming on. .And son’t forget your flu shots!!!!

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