A Non-Neurotic Guide to Germs

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Dirty Dangers? What to Worry About (or Not)

Should you obsess about germs lurking on these items at home? Our experts say yea or nay.

Refrigerator Handle

YES, because you might cut up raw chicken, then open the fridge for the lettuce before washing your hands, says Dr. Gerba.

Toilet Seat

NO, since it's usually cleaned frequently and, surprisingly, it doesn't come in contact with that much germy stuff.

Remote Control

YES, if someone is sick. One study found the remote control may help spread flu between family members.

Your Cell Phone

NO, it's probably covered with microbes, but since they're yours alone, there's little risk of getting sick, says Kelly Reynolds, PhD, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Arizona.

Kitchen Sink Faucet Handles

YES, if you touch them after you've handled raw meat and produce. says Dr. Reynolds.

Your Sink Drain

NO, it is one of the germiest places in your home, but how often do you touch it? If something drops in there, wash it before using.

The Bottoms of Your Shoes

NO, because the germs they carry in tend to stay on the floor. So unless you have a baby crawling around, you probably don't need to worry, says Dr. Reynolds.

Continued on page 3:  What's in Your Cleaning Products?

 

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