WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It's amazing to think about the numerous surfaces we touch throughout the day, but do you stop to think about what's actually growing and living on them?
In part two of a special News 18 Investigation, we reveal the test results that prove the importance of washing your hands.
"It's gross how many people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom. It's just the nature of things right now. It's the state of humanity," Dr. Tom Meyer said. "It's a dirty world out there."
We went to the lab to find out just how dirty it is. With the help of Ivy Tech biotechnology students we tested a number of areas and compiled this list of the top 5 dirtiest public spaces.
Coming in at No. 5: The ATM. The students found traces of human waste on an ATM we tested. Here's what a stranger on the street said when we told him this:
"Wow. I'm not going to the ATM ‘cause that's exactly where we were on our way to," he said. "But I'm just going to go inside to the bank. That is so nasty."
No. 4: Those popular movie rental kiosks. We tested the DVDs, which were covered in so much bacteria, most of it was unidentifiable.
No. 3: The public toilet seat. It also had traces of fecal matter.
No. 2: The bathroom door handle. In addition to feces we found mold.
No. 1: The grocery store shopping cart. Tests revealed a wide array of bacteria, plus excrement.
"Getting exposed to someone else's fecal bacteria isn't necessarily dangerous," Dr. Meyer said. "It's gross but it's rarely dangerous."
"I think I'm going to buy more hand sanitizer," a man we spoke with said. "It's kind of gross, actually."
Doing our part through constant hand washing helps prevent sickness and the spread of bacteria.
"Ideally you wash your hands, you get a paper towel, you can use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and then to open the door and then throw it away as you are leaving," Dr. Meyer said. "Not touching other things after you've washed you hands is really the best practice."
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