London - Women’s handbags are contaminated with more bacteria than the average toilet, a new study has revealed.
Tests showed that one in five handbag handles is home to sufficient bacteria to pose a risk to human health.
The research also revealed that the dirtiest item in the average handbag is hand cream – bottles of hand cream were found to carry more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
The tests, carried out by Initial Washroom Hygiene, also revealed that leather handbags are the most bacteria-riddled as the spongy texture provides the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and spread.
The researchers suggest that women should regularly clean their hands and bags with antibacterial wipes or gel to prevent cross-contamination.
Peter Barratt, Technical Manager at Initial Hygiene, said: “Handbags come into regular contact with our hands and a variety of surfaces, so the risk of transferring different germs onto them is very high, especially as bags are rarely cleaned.
“Once these germs are on the bags, they can easily be transferred via hands onto other surfaces.
“Regular hand sanitisation is essential to prevent the presence of bacteria in the first place and thorough cleaning of bags is recommended to prevent the build-up of contamination.”
The research comes after another study revealed that workplace kitchens are dangerously dirty, to the point that they could cause illness.
The study, also carried out by Initial Washroom Hygeine, revealed that half of surfaces in workplace kitchens are contaminated by dangerously high levels of coliforms – the bacteria present in faeces which can lead to outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease.
It also showed that more than a quarter of draining boards were found to have four times the safe level of coliforms.
The research also revealed that the handles of shared fridge-freezers were bacteria-rife, with a third carrying high levels of coliforms, whilst 30 percent of shared microwaves were also shown to be contaminated around the handles and buttons. - Daily Mail