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Dirtiest places on a college campus

By , Photo Editor  |  Sunday, October 13, 2013 9:50 PM


From the bathroom floor to headphones, Chief Photo Editor Morgan Neu researched the most germ-infested locations and items that college students come across on a day-to-day basis.

Bathroom floor: Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona told ABC News that the bathroom floor is the most germ-ridden place in the bathroom. He said toilet seats are some of the most sanitary surfaces, as the bacteria is often transferred by your hands, not your rear end.

Cell phone: According to a study by Gerba and Sheri Maxwell of the University of Arizona, cell phones are one of the top three germiest places in an office. As college students, cell phones are prevalent in day-to-day activities. Cell phones are touched often and, most likely, rarely sanitized.

Inside a fridge: According to the National Science Foundation, a refrigerator’s vegetable and meat compartments are the two germiest items found in a kitchen. Both provide a strong environment for E. coli, Salmonella, yeast and mold.

Keyboard: ‘Which?’ reported that keyboards can carry bacteria more harmful than a toilet seat. Much of this bacteria is the result of eating while using the computer and touching the keyboard after going to the bathroom without proper handwashing.

Coffee maker: Oftentimes coffee makers do not get hot enough to sanitize the inner apparatus. Mold and bacteria thrive in damp areas like the spaces in a drip coffee maker.

Sponge: According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, a kitchen sponge can be home to a host of dangerous germs including E. coli and sometimes salmonella. Sponges that aren’t sanitized properly transfer these germs to other surfaces.

Bag: In the University of Arizona study, Gerba found that bags and wallets are also in the top three dirtiest office items. The study said one way to avoid germy bags is to avoid setting them on bathroom floors to eliminate the possibility of picking up more bacteria from the surface.

Headphones: According to a study by the Naval Medical Research Institute, headphones accumulate a plethora of bacteria from the ear after one hour of use.

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