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Is your handbag a health hazard?

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  • Is your handbag a health hazard?

    A friend just recently sent me this message in an email. It certainly gave me a new perspective on how I regard my handbag!


    > Have you ever noticed girls who set their handbags on
    > public toilet floors, then go directly to their dining
    > tables and set it on the table.
    > 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 guests came in the door and plopped
    > their handbags down on the counter where she was cooking or
    > setting up food. She always said that handbags are really
    > dirty, because of where they have been.
    > It's something just about every woman carries with
    > them. While we may know what's inside our handbags, do
    > you have any idea what's on the outside? Women carry
    > handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets to
    > the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without
    > their handbags, but did you ever stop to think about where
    > your handbag goes during the day?
    > 'I drive a school bus, so my handbag has been on the
    > floor of the bus a lot,' says one woman. 'On! The
    > floor of my car, and in toilets.
    > 'I put my handbag in grocery shopping carts and on the
    > floor of the toilet,' says another woman 'and of
    > course in my home which should be clean.
    > We decided to find out if handbags harbour a lot of
    > bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories
    > in Salt Lake, and then we set out to test the average
    > woman's handbag.
    > Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what
    > was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at home they
    > usually set their handbags 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 handbags were at least a little bit
    > dirty
    > It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the
    > microbiologist who tested them was shocked.
    > Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson 20Labs says nearly all of
    > the handbags 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 handbags
    > could make people very sick
    > In one sampling, four of five handbags tested positive for
    > salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. 'There
    > is faecal contamination on the handbags' says Amy
    > Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than cloth
    > handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with
    > kids tended to have dirtier handbags than those without
    > with one exception.
    > The handbag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs
    > had one of the worst contaminations of all. 'Some type
    > of faeces, or possibly vomit' says Amy.
    > So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't
    > kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very
    > sick if you keep it on places where you eat. Use hooks to
    > hang your handbag at home and in toilets, and don't put
    > it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen
    > countertop
    > Experts say you should think of your handbag the same way
    > you would a pair of shoes. 'If you think about putting a
    > pair of shoes on your countertops, that's the same thing
    > you're doing when you put your handbag on the countertops.
    > Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have
    > walked, sat, sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated, emptied
    > bowels, etc
    > Do you really want to bring that home with you?
    > The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a handbag
    > will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to
    > clean the bottom of leather handbags.

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