“TRAVELLING is akin to taking a bacteria bath all day long.”
From the plane toilets to the bus seats, everything you’ve touched has been touched by others before and can hold a lot of bacteria, according to globetrotting Lonely Planet write Leif Pettersen.
As we travel more and more, the spread of germs grows greater. Here are some of the dirtiest things you can touch while travelling.
While the toilets in other places such as hostels can be undeniably filthy, the top spot goes to plane lavatories. They quickly become “germ farms”, with the toilet bowl and sink placed in extremely close proximity to eachother. Think about that the next time you brush your teeth! Another horror, the inevitable splashing out of the sink leads to moist conditions – perfect for bacteria to grow.
Staphylococcus bacteria and faecal matter can be found on money around the world. The US fares particularly badly, with a test by the Health Commissioner of New York found 135,000 bacteria on one especially nasty bill. ATM buttons are also filthy.
This was backed up in a 2010 study by University of Ballarat and his colleagues, which found the cleanest dollars in the US hosted 20 bugs, while the dirtiest greenbacks had 250,000. However, Australia’s, New Zealand’s and some of Mexico’s bills differed from the rest in being made from a polymer, or plasticlike, material. In general, polymer bills hosted fewer than 10 germs per square centimetre.
While some public transport systems are worse than others, most are hotbeds of germs. Think about it: thousands of people touch the surfaces of that train or bus every day. While places touched by hands are the dirtiest, the seats can also be home to a “safari of faecal matter”.
Next time you use that computer in the café or hotel, think twice. According to Lonely Planet, “you may as well be typing inside a truck stop toilet bowl”. A scary statistic: on average, shared desks can have up to 400 times more bacteria than a recently flushed toilet. Why? The keyboards are rarely cleaned.
People are the cause of the problems! A recent study of New York stations revealed that only 49 percent of people washed their hands after using the bathroom. Eww.