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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sick of the old purse?


I never gave it a thought. Who'd a thunk?
Have you ever noticed gals who sit their purses on public restroom floors - that go directly to their dining tables? Happens a lot! It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach distress. Sometimes "what you don't know 'will' hurt you"!

Read on...
Mom got so upset when a guest came in the door and plopped their purses down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up the buffet. She always said that purses are really dirty, because of Where they have been. Smart Momma!!! It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know what's inside our purses, do you have any idea what's on the outside?
Shauna Lake put purses to the test - for bacteria - with surprising results. You may think twice about where you put your purse. Women carry purses everywhere; from the office to public restrooms to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without their purses, but did you ever stop to think about where your purse goes during the day?
"I drive a school bus, so my purse has been on the floor of the bus a lot," says one woman. "On the floor of my car, probably in restrooms." "I put my purse in grocery shopping carts, on the floor of bathroom stalls while changing a diaper," says another woman and of course in my home which should be clean."
We decided to find out if purses harbor a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake, then we set out to test the average woman's purse.
Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what was on the bottom of their purse. Most said they usually set their purses on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared. Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be surprised if their purses were at least a little bit dirty.
It turns out purses are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked. Microbiologist Amy Karren of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the purses tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria.
Pseudomonas can cause eye infections, staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the purses could make people very sick. In one sampling, four of five purses tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. "There is fecal contamination on the purses," says Amy.
Leather or vinyl purses tended to be cleaner than cloth purses, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with kids tended to have dirtier purses than those without, with one exception. The purse of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all. "Some type of feces, or even possibly vomit or something like that," says Amy.
So the moral of this story - your purse won't kill you, but it does has the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. Use hooks to hang your purse at home and in restrooms, and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop. Experts say you should think of your purse the same way you would a pair of shoes. "If you think about putting a pair of shoes onto your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing when you put your purse on the countertops" - your purse has gone where every individual before you has spat, coughed, urinated, emptied bowels, etc! Do you really want to bring that home with you?
The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a purse will help. Wash cloth purses and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather purses.
Thanks to Susan for this email warning..
Barbara

8 comments:

Evelyne said...

interesting... In cegep, we put some petri dishes in the bathroom and it turned out that the bathroom was way cleaner than the cafeteria... Yes we have to be careful with bacteria (mostly pathogens) but they are also part of our environment, some people carry Staph Aureus in their nasopharynx without being sick! I never thought about pureses being so dirty, what about backpack : they go on the floor of subways, bus, classrooms, sometimes even sidewalk and then on the desk of some students...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

People actually put their purses on the floor in the bathroom?

And Evelyne, you are right about backpacks - they are even more likely to hit the floor than purses are.

Barbara said...

That's not very encouraging about the cafeteria... or backpacks..

I try to hang my purse if I can Barbara B. but sometimes there is no choice...

good ecuse to buy a new purse though eh?

Miss A said...

In my teens I visited a relative in the hospital and a nurse yelled at me for leaving my purse on the floor. She pointed out that even though a hospital is considered to be "sanitary", it's not. Since then I don't put my purse down on ANY floor or counter.

Deb said...

I always hung mine on the hook in the bathroom...then they said not to do that because they get stolen from there! So I hold it (my purse that is).

Very interesting post. Things that make you go hhmmm.

Anonymous said...

People or women matters not if we saw all the germs around us any any given minute of the day we would stop breathing and moving for fear of what we might catch.

Nik

Barbara said...

yup... so i don't worry about germs life is too short...

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal. When I was a kid, we ate dirt, licked the shopping cart handle, and never washed our hands. We were a lot healthier back then. We need exposure to germs to build up our immunity. The cleaner we live, the sicker we are.