The Dirtiest Surfaces in the U.S.

Halloween is right around the corner, but you may have a new reason to be spooked. The results of a new study have pinpointed which public surfaces host the most illness-causing bacteria, and the results may surprise you.

After swabbing 350 of the most frequently touched surfaces in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia, the researchers at the University of Arizona and the Kimberly-Clark Professional’s Healthy Work Place Project tested samples for animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast, and mold cells.

So which surfaces were the most contaminated?

  • 71% of gas pump handles
  • 68% of mailbox handles
  • 43% of escalator rails
  • 41% of ATM buttons
  • 40% of parking meters and kiosks
  • 35% of crosswalk buttons
  • 35% of vending machine buttons

Many times people do not realize how many germs they are exposed to during their daily activities. Researchers hope that these results emphasize the importance of hand-washing and hygiene in preventing illness.

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