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Germs

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greentree
424737.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:33 am Reply with quote

(I realise this is the layman's term for the various micro-organisms and bacteria that make us ill, but I guess its the one we all understand)


Take a look at the desk you're sitting at. Maybe there's a coffee stain here or there, but other than that, it looks clean enough to eat off, right? Not hardly.

A 2002 study sponsored by The Clorox Company found that the average office desk harbors hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than an office toilet seat. Office toilet seats had 49 germs per square inch, the study by microbiologists at the University of Arizona found; desktops had almost 21,000 germs per square inch. And that wasn't the worst of it. Office phones had more than 25,000 germs per square inch. A follow-up study performed last year found that the germiest workplace surfaces (from most germy to least germy) are the phone, keyboard, computer mouse and desktop.

And to add insult to injury, all of those germs, which include bacteria and viruses that can cause a whole host of illnesses, including the common cold and flu, can live for days. In other words, your dirty workspaces could be making you and your employees sick, which can play a big part in decreased worker productivity.


Nice....

 
QiScorpion
424748.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:46 am Reply with quote

that's because an awful lot of germs are transferred by hand (certainly cold germs are).
Apparently, according to New Scientist, if your nose gets too wet or cold, you are more likely to develop a cold (i will have to verify this) but i thought that may add some credence to the myth that being out in the cold...

 
dr.bob
425932.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:16 am Reply with quote

QiScorpion wrote:
Apparently, according to New Scientist, if your nose gets too wet or cold, you are more likely to develop a cold


...or be a dog.

 
Arcane
425949.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:48 am Reply with quote

Washing your hands is something I have a real "thing" about. I worked as a nurse for a year - goodness, can that make you paranoid about handwashing and germs!!

I almost feel sick when I see people using public toilets who dash out without washing their hands. *shudders*

Washing your hands with plenty of soap and water for the length of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" reasonably slowly apparently is the way to go. Dry thoroughly. Should be done before and after food preparation, DEFINITELY AFTER GOING TO THE TOILET EACH AND EVERY TIME! (including "number 1's", ahem), when moving from one food group to another, before and after changing nappies, gardening, and when you come home after being in public places (ie out to the shops etc).

Here is an informative link regarding good handwashing practice.

 
djgordy
425976.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:13 am Reply with quote

greentree wrote:

A 2002 study sponsored by The Clorox Company found that the average office desk harbors hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than an office toilet seat. Office toilet seats had 49 germs per square inch, the study by microbiologists at the University of Arizona found; desktops had almost 21,000 germs per square inch. And that wasn't the worst of it. Office phones had more than 25,000 germs per square inch. A follow-up study performed last year found that the germiest workplace surfaces (from most germy to least germy) are the phone, keyboard, computer mouse and desktop.

And to add insult to injury, all of those germs, which include bacteria and viruses that can cause a whole host of illnesses, including the common cold and flu, can live for days. In other words, your dirty workspaces could be making you and your employees sick, which can play a big part in decreased worker productivity.


On the other hand, the fact that we are surrounded by "germs" means that we are unaffected by most of them. If we lived in a "clean" environment our immune systems would be incapable of coping with the biological onslaught when we did become exposed to micro organisms.

The thing about there being more germs on such and such a thing than there are on a toilet seat is really meaningless. The important thing is, are the germs on the toilet seat potentially more harmful than the ones on the office desk?

 
Izzardesque
425979.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:17 am Reply with quote

Djg has pretty much said what I wanted to say. A lot of these studies (often commissioned by manufacturers of cleaning products...) scare us by saying how many germs/bacteria can be found on any given surface. What they neglect to mention is that the majority of them are harmless and some even are beneficial to us.

 
npower1
425981.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:18 am Reply with quote

How many different bacteria live on your skin, in your mouth, on your eyes? I've seen some very large estimates.

 
Izzardesque
425985.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:22 am Reply with quote

When I worked for the NHS, we used to do talks and presentations in schools. When we did the handwashing exhibit (special gel is put on the kids' hands, they then have to wash their hands and put them under a UV light which shows up where they've missed) we always had to make clear that the majority of germs on their hands were fine and harmless to the average healthy person. Otherwise, I could definitely see some compulsive handwashing developing!

 
Sebastian flyte
425986.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:22 am Reply with quote

As I'm ill at the moment I have these wipes called 'Matron' which is funny "stop messin abaat"..like when you visit someone in hospital. It hasn't helped as Dad is ill now too. I have one in my pocket as I'm taking the dog out and might pop into the shop for a can of pop and will have to clean my hands before handing money to the man, or rather putting it on the counter and saying I have flu. I shouldn't actually go out but i'm so bored. I might use the shop where the man is rude rather than inflict my germs on the nice couple from the other shop :)

I heard that the toilet seat germs are the good bacteria you get in those yogurts unless you are ill and have bad guts but that has to be made up!!!??

 
bardess
426153.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:06 am Reply with quote

It's not the seats I worry about. It is what is in the spray when you flush, therefore what you breathe in. I absolutely hate going when I'm out. Would rather wait.

Apparently you are supposed to keep the bathroom door shut, especially if it is close to the toilet as the spray from flushing can travel quite a bit and can land on toothbrushes etc.

Yuck

 
Sebastian flyte
426163.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:12 am Reply with quote

Yes it can but you have a lid on it I assume? :D

 
Timon
426277.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:26 pm Reply with quote

I have heard it said that there are more bacteria cells &c in your body than there are human cells.
I am sure that the chemical companies are doing great harm by scaring people into sterilising there homes. A germ free environment is all very well and good in hospitals etc. but trying to eradicate bacteria from our homes is just plain dangerous.

 
Ion Zone
426366.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:48 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
but trying to eradicate bacteria from our homes is just plain dangerous.


You're right there. Most homes are nearly sterile, but ironically we often ignore the places where germs breed most, or have variable reactions to them. For instance, the dog.

 
greentree
426377.  Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:17 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:


On the other hand, the fact that we are surrounded by "germs" means that we are unaffected by most of them. If we lived in a "clean" environment our immune systems would be incapable of coping with the biological onslaught when we did become exposed to micro organisms.

The thing about there being more germs on such and such a thing than there are on a toilet seat is really meaningless. The important thing is, are the germs on the toilet seat potentially more harmful than the ones on the office desk?


I agree there djgordy; I consider myself immune to most things I come into contact with on the basis that I have only been ill once in the last 2 years, and very rarely get colds/stomach bugs even when lurgies are felling other colleagues like goodness knows what.

I often wondered what micro organismic (?) wonders were on my keyboard and phone at work (and bearing in mind we used to move desks from time to time), but i figured if i thought about it too much it would become a self fulfilling prohpecy and I would get ill.

 
dr.bob
426647.  Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:15 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
The thing about there being more germs on such and such a thing than there are on a toilet seat is really meaningless.


Indeed. It also neatly ignores the fact that most modern toilet seats are specially designed to be places where it is hard for germs to live, while most office desks, say, aren't.

 

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