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Home > Anti-aging Research > Germs
News & Research:
Fungus-infested bagpipes sicken lifelong player, 78 - Vitals, 3/13/13 -
"He got so sick and weak he couldn’t walk and lost
more than a stone in weight -- or about 14 pounds ... When they learned he
was a bagpiper, the medical crew asked to test the instrument – and found
the culprit ... Apparently the synthetic bags favored by modern pipers are
an ideal environment for bacteria, mold and fungus that can grow in saliva
that gets into the bags during playing. Old-time pipers used hide bags that
required regular maintenance, procedures that probably kept them clean and
safe ... A 35-year-old man suffered from so-called “trombone player’s lung,”
or hypersensitivity pneumonia triggered by bugs including the same Fusarium
fungi that affected Shone. The trombone player had a bad cough that lasted
for 15 years, according to a 2010 article in the journal Chest. His cough
stopped once he started disinfecting it with rubbing alcohol. Another
musician, a 48-year-old saxophone player, also suffered from lung problems
triggered by molds until he started washing his mouthpiece" - Note:
I'm betting swimming snorkels are the same way.
Top 7 Germiest Public Places - ABC News, 12/3/12 -
"Restaurant Menus ... Lemon Wedges ... Condiment
Dispensers ... Restroom Door Handles ... Soap Dispensers ... Airplane
Bathrooms ... Doctor's Office"
The 10 Germiest Places in a Restaurant Hint: Bathroom Isn't No. 1 - ABC
News, 11/16/12 - "Seats ... Menus ... Lemon Wedges
... Salt and Pepper Shakers ... Tables ... Rims of Glasses ... Bathroom Door
Knobs ... Bathroom Faucets ... Ketchup Bottles ... Salad Bar Tongs"
Your Gym's Dirty Little Secrets - ABC News, 8/18/12 (but it just showed
up) - "One study found that three-fourths of weight
equipment was contaminated with cold-causing rhinoviruses, and even wiping
surfaces down twice didn't completely nix germs ... The sniffles are the
least of your worries: MRSA (!) and other types of staph infections can be
contracted if a cut or scrape on your skin comes in contact with the
Office Germs: The 6 Dirtiest Work Places - WebMD, 5/22/12 -
"75% of break room sink-faucet handles ... 48% of
microwave door handles ... 27% of keyboards ... 26% of refrigerator door
handles ... 23% of water fountain buttons ... 21% of vending machine
What’s the Germiest Place in Your Kitchen? - ABC News, 1/23/12 - it's a
4 minute video.
Fungus in sinks can cause infections - USATODAY.com, 12/29/11 -
"Fusarium is well known for causing diseases in agricultural crops, but some
species of the fungus can cause potentially dangerous and even fatal
infections in humans ... Fusarium infections can be difficult to treat
because Fusarium is resistant to many antifungal drugs ... They tested
samples taken from nearly 500 sink drains ... At least one Fusarium isolate
was found in 66 percent of the drains and in 82 percent of the buildings.
About 70 percent of those isolates were from species most frequently
associated with human infections"
16% of Cellphones Have
Poop on Them - Mashable.com, 11/9/11 -
"Keyboards, on average, are five times dirtier and have 60 times more germs
on them than toilet seats. They are 150 times over the acceptable limit for
Study: Germs on gas pumps, ATMs and more could make you sick -
USATODAY.com, 10/25/11 - "A scientific survey
released Tuesday found 71% of gas pump handles and 68% of corner mailbox
handles were highly contaminated with germs most
associated with a high risk of illness, as were 41% of ATM buttons and 43%
of escalator rails"
Don't touch! Study confirms your worst fears about public potties -
MSNBC, 10/20/11 - "As long suspected, bathroom
surfaces in U.S. restaurants, airplanes, stores, hospitals and other busy
locales are often heavily contaminated with illness-causing microbes – and,
in some cases, the bug colonies are even too large to measure ... Among the
types of microscopic critters commonly discovered were staphylococcus (which
can cause fevers and chills) and bacillus (which can cause diarrhea) ... You
can wash your hands till the cows come home. (If we swab your freshly
scrubbed palms and culture the results), you are going to grow something"
Biologists find 'surprising' number of unknown viruses in sewage -
Science Daily, 10/6/11 - "What was surprising was
that the vast majority of viruses we found were viruses that had not been
detected or described before"
Residential washers may not kill hospital-acquired bacteria - Science
Daily, 10/3/11 - "washing uniforms in residential
washing machines with detergent and water temperature of 60 degrees Celsius
(140 degrees Fahrenheit) was enough to eliminate both MRSA and Acinetobacter.
At 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), MRSA was eliminated, but
substantial amounts of Acinetobacter were detected"
Doorknobs May Be 'Reservoirs' for MRSA - Medscape, 9/19/11 -
"If a member of your household has a drug-resistant
staph infection, be aware that doorknobs, light switches, and other
seemingly harmless items may serve as reservoirs for the bacteria to
multiply and spread ... People with MRSA (methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus) who live in homes where such common items test
positive for the same strain of MRSA are about five times more likely to
spread the bacteria to another household member ... having a child age 5 or
younger or having a pet in the home doubles the risk of transmitting staph
to another household member"
Bad Bugs Common on Hospital Workers’ Clothes - WebMD, 9/2/11 -
"Uniforms worn by hospital personnel often are
contaminated with the superbug MRSA and a variety of other bacteria ... They
swabbed white coats and uniforms worn by doctors and nurses and found
potentially dangerous bacteria on more than 60% of items they examined"
- Note: I admit being a germaphobe or maybe I just see or understand
what others don't. 60% is hard to overlook. I put my clothes
through the speed cycle with soap then through steam cycle. I change
clothes and shower whenever I've been waiting around doctor's waiting rooms.
Brain-eating amoebas blamed in three deaths - CNN, 8/17/11 - Note:
A germ that kills by eating your brain? This is just one more example
of why I'm a germaphobe with things like a no shoe house.
Bathing water at Vegas ‘dayclubs’ has ‘a lot of urine,’ some bacteria -
The Daily, 7/24/11 - "Pee in the pool is bad, but
germs are worse, and that’s what our testers found at Rehab at the Hard Rock
Hotel, where water samples tested positive for a bacterium called
acintobacter. While not usually considered to be dangerous, strains of the
organism can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and skin infections"
- Note: Below the first picture is an icon to go to the second picture
which has a graph of the pee factor.
dishwasher is trying to kill me': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens
living in dishwasher seals - Science Daily, 6/20/11 -
"62% of the
dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56% of which
accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E.
phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat,
high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline
water. This is a combination of extreme properties not previously observed in
fungi ... Exophiala dermatitidis is rarely isolated from nature, but is
frequently encountered as an agent of human disease, both in compromised and
healthy people. It is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of
patients with cystic fibrosis, and also occasionally causes fatal infections in
healthy humans. The invasion of black yeasts into our homes represents a
potential health risk ... The discovery of this widespread presence of
extremophilic fungi in some of our common household appliances suggests that
these organisms have embarked on an extraordinary evolutionary process that
could pose a significant risk to human health in the future" - Here's what I've
been using on those areas: Wagner 905 1,500-Watt On-Demand Power Steamer and Cleanerand Zwipes Microfiber 36-Pack of Cleaning Cloths.
The secret is "steam and wipe" because it dries like cement quickly if you
Household Germs Hide in Unexpected Spots - WebMD. 5/13/11 -
"Coliform, which was found in 81% of the homes,
commonly comes from raw meat and produce, as well as unwashed produce and
unwashed hands ... 77% of sponges and dish rags tested positive for coliform.
Nearly half of the kitchen sinks they swabbed harbored the same nasty
bacteria, while countertops and cutting boards came in third and fourth,
with 32% and 18%, respectively, testing positive"
Washing with contaminated soap increases bacteria on hands, research finds
- Science Daily, 5/2/11 - "Bulk-soap-refillable
dispensers, in which new soap is poured into a dispenser, are the
predominant soap dispenser type in community settings, such as public
restrooms. In contrast to sealed-soap dispensers, which are refilled by
inserting a new bag or cartridge of soap, they are prone to bacterial
contamination and several outbreaks linked to the use of contaminated soap
have already been reported in healthcare settings ... Gram-negative bacteria
on the hands of students and staff increased 26-fold after washing with the
Carts one of dirtiest places in grocery store, study says - USA Today,
3/2/11 - "Researchers say they actually found more
fecal bacteria on grocery cart handles than you would typically find in a
7 Germiest Public Places - ABC News, 2/20/11 -
"Restaurant menus ... Lemon wedges ... Condiment dispensers ... Restroom
door handles ... Soap dispensers ... Grocery carts ... Airplane bathrooms
... Doctor's office" - Note: Problem with that higher math?
I count 8.
Household bugs: A risk to human health? - Science Daily, 1/26/11
dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria -
Science Daily, 1/25/11 - "The two sanitizers -- one
carrying the name brand PROSAN® and the other called neutral electrolyzed
oxidizing water -- not only proved more effective, but they also contained
fewer toxic chemicals ... Traditional sanitizers used by restaurants contain
chemicals found in bleach, which can corrode dishware, damage the
environment, and irritate or burn the skin ... Such sanitizers also lose
their effectiveness with each additional washing cycle. This means that the
killing agents within the sanitizers kill fewer amounts of harmful bacteria
with each rinse ... E. coli outbreaks have been on the decline since 2002,
but food is still the primary means for food borne illness transmission. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 28 percent
of food borne outbreaks between 1982 and 2002 originated from restaurants or
other public food establishments" - Note:
Click here for their website. It appears that it's only sold in a
pouch that requires you to mix it with 8 gallons of water.
What's the Germiest Item on a Restaurant Table? - ABC News, 12/30/10 -
It's a video but claims that the menu is dirtier than a toilet seat.
Alcohol-based hand disinfectants improve business productivity, study finds
- Science Daily, 8/23/10 - "incidences of
absenteeism in public administrations due to the common cold, fever and
cough are significantly reduced when alcohol-based hand disinfectants are
used by employees ... The study also found a reduction in symptoms of
illness during times when participants were not absent from work, suggesting
that hand disinfectant use can reduce on-the-job-productivity-losses,
increase workplace health levels, and therefore improve overall
Germiest Places in Your Home - ABC News, 2/18/10 (video)
Everyday germs in childhood may prevent diseases in adulthood - Science
U.S. Homes Losing Battle of the Germs - WebMD, 7/14/09
Human Skin Crawling With Bacteria - WebMD, 5/28/09
Doorknobs and TV Remotes Are Germ Hotbeds - InteliHealth, 10/28/08 -
"Someone in your house have the sniffles? Watch out
for the refrigerator door handle. The TV remote, too. A new study finds that
cold sufferers often leave their germs there, where they can live for two
days or longer"
- Germ-Mobile: Your Car as
Petri Dish? - ABC News, 10/1/08
Germy Surfaces You Touch Every Day - ABC News, 9/5/08 -
"Purses and Wallets ... Remote Control ... Laundry
Machines ... Cutting Board ... Your Phone ... Water Fountains ... Buttons
[such as elevator] ... Yoga Mats ... Airplane Bathroom ... Shopping Carts"
Bad Bacteria Lurk in Rest Stops - WebMD, 6/6/08 -
"Their results showed the presence of many different
bacteria, such as staph bacteria and E. coli. MRSA (methicillin resistant
Staphylococcus aureus), a difficult to treat type of staph that can cause
potentially life-threatening infection, was found in 10 of the 47 samples
taken ... carefully and diligently wash their hands and use a towel or other
type of device to cover their hands when exiting the restrooms" -
People might think I'm a germaphobe but I've always used a paper towel to
exit public restrooms.
One Third of Hospital Toilets Not Properly Cleaned: C. Difficile Germs
Linger - Science Daily, 5/11/08
Keyboard: Dirtier Than a Toilet - ABC News, 5/5/08 -
"It turns out that your computer keyboard could put
a host of potentially harmful bacteria -- including E. coli and staph --
quite literally at your fingertips ... one had levels of germs five times
higher than that found on the toilet seat" - Note: I put my
keyboard in the dishwasher every once in a while. It takes about a
week before it will work again but I haven't had any go bad yet. I've
got several keyboards from old computers so I don't care if I lose one.
Unotron Washable Corded Standard Keyboard S5000K-B - Keyboard - PS/2, USB -
black. I would think that if the regular keyboards worked in the
dishwasher, these would also.
Cleanliness Rules Germaphobes' Lives - WebMD, 7/12/04 -
- Germs Are Everywhere -- Really - WebMD, 7/12/04
- Doctors Don't Wash Hands Enough - WebMD, 7/6/04
- Germs: They're Everywhere - WebMD, 6/23/04
- Many People Skip Bathroom Hand Washing - WebMD, 9/15/03
- Cell Phones Can Carry Bacteria - WebMD, 9/15/03
- Germs In The Office - Intelihealth
- Fighting Germs in the Home May Make the Problem Worse WebMD, 5/22/00