Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I had never thought about this

I received this in email.  Because there is a study mentioned that was supposedly done in a lab, I checked it out on snopes.com, and indeed there have been  scientific studies.

"Have you ever noticed gals who sit their handbags on public toilet floors, then go directly to their dining tables and set it on the table? Happens a lot!

It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach distress.

Sometimes "what you don't know will hurt you"!

Read on...

Mom got so upset when guests came in the door and plopped their handbags down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up food. She always said that handbags are really dirty, because of where they have been.

It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know what's inside our handbags, do you have any idea what's on the outside? Women carry handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without their handbags, but did you ever stop to think about where your handbag goes during the day?

"I drive a school bus, so my handbag has been on the floor of the bus a lot," says one woman. "On the floor of my car, and in toilets."

"I put my handbag in grocery shopping carts and on the floor of the toilet," says another woman "and of course in my home which should be clean."

We decided to find out if handbags harbor a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake , and then we set out to test the average woman's handbag.

Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at home they usually set their handbags on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared.

Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be surprised if their handbags were at least a little bit dirty.

It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.

Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the handbags tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections, staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the handbags could make people very sick.

In one sampling, four of five handbags tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. "There is fecal contamination on the handbags" says Amy. Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than cloth handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with kids tended to have dirtier handbags than those without, with one exception.

The handbag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all. "Some type of feces, or possibly vomit" says Amy.

So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat.

Use hooks to hang your handbag at home and in toilets, and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop.

Experts say you should think of your handbag the same way you would a pair of shoes.

"If you think about putting a pair of shoes onto your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing when you put your handbag on the countertops" - Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated, emptied bowels, etc!

Do you really want to bring that home with you?

The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a handbag will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather handbags."

I don't put my purse on the floor of rest rooms if there's a place to hang it, but it's always on the floorboard in the car, right there where my feet have tracked in farm dirt that contains who-knows-what.  And guess where my purse is sitting right now?

On the kitchen table.

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breakaway1968 said...

Never would have thought of it that way!  Thanks for this bit of info!  I will never set my hangbag on the floor in the public rest room again!  LOL  

gaboatman said...

I recieved a similar email a while back.  Sure gives one pause to think, doesn't it?  Hopefully public awareness of this will be spread quickly through the internet.  I would never have thought about this on my own, LOL!

madcobug said...

I read this somewhere the other day. Like you I never put by bag on a bathroom floor but do put it in the floorboard of the car. The table is just a handy place to sit it when coming in the door. Helen

gen0507 said...

That's sad...I guess I've never really thought about it in this way!   Y  U C K !!!!


riverdaughter196 said...

I never put my purse on the bathroom floor.  And if I have to ( if there is no hook to hang it on)  I carry antibacterial wet wipes and I always wipe my purse off.  
I also don't put it on the table.  I put it in a chair.   I frequently wipe off the leather because I don't want to pick up someone else's germs.  

geocachelinda66 said...


lmitc89854 said...

Oh my gosh!  I will have to change my ways! Although I am surprisingly healthy!

lanurseprn said...

I've read this before. It's discusting, isn't it?

ora4uk said...

Hi Donna...I had read this before some time ago....and it really got me to thinking....most of my handbags are washable...I love the cotton ones with the pretty materials over the leather type...so I started at least once a week...washing them regular....and I do watch where I put my bag now...LOL...just got my attention big time....something to think about huh??? thanks for sharing...hugs...Ora

msecz said...

oh my gosh....I never thought of it before. I usually put my purse on the hook in the restrooms though if there is one...... but I do put it on the cupboard etc at home. I think I will change and wipe it off from time to time also. Thanks for the warning]

ryanagi said...

I hadn't thought about it either until I saw all this same info on a talk show (Rachael Ray).  She had purses of a few audience members tested. It was really gross!  In they end she gave them new designer handbags.  They all agreed they didn't want their old purses back. LOL

mutualaide said...

LOL -- this is one of my pet peeves.  I harp continuously about the location of purses and handbags and backpacks in this house.  Either put them on the piano bench (where a butt might sit if time allows) or on the door handle of your room.  But never, ever on a table top (coffee/kitchen) or counter top.  Eeewwww.  

ickivic said...

Thanks for the info, off to by a fresh handbag.   Vicki

connie7280 said...

Where do people come up with these things?  As a retired home care nurse we were taught to put paper towls or newpaper down before setting the nursing bag down in the home as we went from home to home but I never transferred that thought to a handbag. (I never took my purse into a patients home - that stayed locked in my car trunk).    Connie from Long Island

helmswondermom said...

I checked this out in Snopes a while back, too.  It is rather gross, isn't it?  I have never set mine on the floor in a public toilet, though.  I will hold it if I have to, even though it makes things kind of awkward.

suzypwr said...

I have a counter where I stick mine. I can't keep them on the floor because of the dogs, but I can keep it away from any food. I have always kept it away from food. I read those studies - really gross!