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What’s Lurking On Your Purse?

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What’s Lurking On Your Purse?

A recent post, “I Like It on the Kitchen Table,” got me to thinking about my purse and all the places it has been. One thing lead to another and soon I was immersed in a world of germs.

The Germs on Your Purse
My purse travels with me everywhere I go. I put it on the floor of my car. At work, I like to hang it from my office door handle. In restaurants, place it on an unused chair. I’ve even been known to hang it from my knee, but sometimes there is no choice but to put it on the floor.

I wouldn’t dream of putting it on floor of a public restroom, but I will rest it on the counter by the sink while I wash my hands. Now I realize that’s not much better than placing it right on the toilet if you’re trying to avoid contaminating your purse with germs.

I consider myself a very clean person, but I hate to think about what horrors lurk on and in my purse.

A 2006 ABC report made my stomach do flip flops. After testing women’s purses, especially the bottom, microbiologist Chuck Gerba found organisms that are normally found on the floor of a restroom. These organisms are responsible for cold viruses and viruses that cause diarrhea, among other things.

His research turned up purses carrying from tens of thousands of bacteria to 6.7 million bacteria. Half of the bags were positive for coliform bacteria — indicating the possible presence of human or animal waste. These bacteria are transported around everywhere the woman goes with the purse — right to your kitchen table, if you’ve ever placed your purse there. If you keep your purse anywhere in the kitchen, you might want to change that habit. And we really should clean it once in awhile.

None of this even touches upon what’s IN the purse. Oh, but our purses are just the tip of the iceberg

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Read more: Cold and Flu, Family, General Health, Health, Home, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

170 comments

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11:24AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

zellers washrooms are disgusting places. the counters are usually covered in water. how do you wash your hands without getting your clothes soaked in the bargain, the paper towel holders are usually filthy. i always use a paper towel when touching the door handle. thank goodness they now leave a garbage bucket by the entrance as paper towels were piling up on the floor. also the toilets dont seem to get flushed by some people. i certainly dont want to know what the person before me did in the toilet. people are rather filthy creatures at times.

1:31AM PST on Nov 12, 2010

Thanks! I am going to have my purse wet cleaned!

4:09PM PDT on Nov 6, 2010

...It doesn't surprise me one bit that women's restrooms are more germ-y than men's. Most women's public restrooms that I have been in are filthy, and although more women wash their hands, many women simply don't "do their business" in a very tidy way. Blegh...

The men's rooms that I've been in (yes, I have ventured... as a curious teen, I explored that "forbidden" realm...) have been surprisingly clean compared to women's rooms.

To other women everywhere: CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES WHEN YOU'RE THROUGH!

:D

6:15PM PDT on Oct 25, 2010

Thanks

1:08AM PDT on Oct 22, 2010

thanks

7:27AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Thank you for the info

6:50AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

I don't use makeup and rarely a purse. :-)

3:10PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

One more reason to eat healthy and strengthen our immune systems.

4:41AM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

Interersting point of view, and very sad in a way. I also feel very worried about this problem, but I finally had to admit that the only thing I can do is trying to enhance my immune system

5:32PM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

Thanks for the info.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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