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…