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February 2019
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The Terrifying Truth About Trash, Toilets And More

According to germ experts, your toilet may actually be much dirtier than it looks.

Scientists at the University of Colorado have released the results of a multi-million dollar study that proves bacteria flourish in places most people would never imagine. The list includes six surprising, germ-breeding spots that might make you run for the doors.

Toilets, no place for a drink
That glistening toilet could be filled to the brim with the finest sparkling champagne, but germs have no concept of quality. From the lowliest hovel to the grandest mansion, toilets are disgusting wherever you go.

“A fly mixed into your mayo would get you sick almost every time.”

So don’t even think of taking a sip. “No matter how nice the bathroom looks, there are 3 million microbes per inch in a toilet,” said Blake Hsu, PhD, a professor of microbiology at UC Boulder.

That’s trash, not treasure
And if you were thinking of eating your next meal from the garbage, forget about it. Trash cans, packed with stale food, mucous-filled tissues, and remnants of last night’s love-making session may seem clean. But beware.

Those discarded leftovers are dirtier than they look. The population of microbes in a kitchen trash receptacle might not be as high as a toilet, but the variety is staggering. The combination of proteins, fatty acids, fermentation, and warm moisture are like a buffet for microorganisms.

A dumpster lunch might be just what the doctor ordered.

Pet pellets are not playthings
As much as they love their pet, many cat owners would be surprised to learn the litter box is not a place to let the kids play. Toxoplasmosis parasites are not the kind of playmates you want your child making friends with.

But don’t laugh dog owners. It probably isn’t a good idea to wrap your lunch in used doggy duty bags either. A gram of dog feces is crawling with 20 million E. coli cells. So go ahead and spring for a Ziploc sandwich bag. Those extra pennies may just save your life.

It’s a locker room, not a licking room
Think those buff guys and svelte models at your fitness center are so healthy they couldn’t possibly have germs? That beauty might just be hiding a bacterial beast.

“Even month-old vomit can carry disease.”

A lot of people assume a shower floor is clean enough to lick. But hold your tongue. Not all of the sweat and dead skin cells get washed down the drain. “And you would be surprised how much urine and feces ends up on the shower floor,” Prof. Hsu told us. “You definitely want to keep your toes out of your mouth after a shower at the gym.”

Eat your burger on the table, not on the floor
No matter how well your favorite restaurant did on the last health inspection, you don’t want to eat on their restroom floors. This is especially true of restaurants that serve alcohol. “The dry crust in the cracks and crevices around the fixtures can look benign,” Prof. Hsu explained, “but even month-old vomit can carry disease.”

That road-kill may kill you
Dead animals may look peaceful in their repose, but don’t be too quick to sit down next to one for a picnic. You would think the germs would leave a dead dog faster than rats from a sinking ship. But no.

You can contract all manner of ills from the corpse of even a single animal. The smell might be atrocious and the maggots repulsive, but it’s the flies that are most likely to harm you. “Short of outright licking the carcass of a dead animal, a fly mixed into your mayo would get you sick almost every time,” Hsu said.

So where should you have your next picnic?
Hsu tells us, “A hospital dumpster is actually much cleaner than you would expect. Most of the hazardous waste is taken off site for incineration.” So next time you go to visit a sick friend, pack a snack. A dumpster lunch might be just what the doctor ordered.

Submitted by Jake M – Health, Fitness, and Lifestyle contributor

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