Computer game controllers are ‘five times dirtier than a toilet seat’

bacteriaIf somebody was to ask you what you would think is the dirtiest place or item in your house, a place that harbours the most bacteria, you’d be forgiven for assuming it is the toilet area in your bathroom.

In fact, day-to-day chores such as sorting the dirty laundry, taking out the bins and scrubbing the bathroom can leave us grubby and reaching for the hand wash.

Surprisingly though, there are some unlikely things in the home that can spread large amounts of bacteria, according to new research.

The study, conducted by Domestos and Unicef, found that although almost third of people believe it is the toilet seat that is the grubbiest place in the home, high contaminated things are actually more likely to be things such as computer games controllers, toys and even the arms of your sofas.

The researchers involved in the study decided to swab different areas of a typical average house to test for bacteria including E. coli, APC and Enterobacteriaceae.

On average, it was determined that the average toilet seat has around 1,600 germs per 100 cm2, but there were a significantly higher number of germs found on children’s play equipment.

The most bacteria-laden object in most homes is actually the garden trampoline, researchers discovered. With bacteria levels of around 640,000 per 100cm2, they are the worst offenders for germs. Also in the garden area, bikes and balls both had around 14,000 per 100cm2.

In what is shockingly nearly fives that of an average toilet seat, it was found that a typical games controller remarkably has about 7,863 germs per 100cm2. This is almost the same as an average fridge handle, which clocks up roughly 7,474 germs per 100cm2.

Results from the study also show that three out of five people are under the assumption that children pick up germs primarily at nursery or school. The study authors however say that we should be more cautious of germs on our sofas, with a staggering 12 times more germs on the arms of a sofa than on the average toilet seat.

Environmental health expert Dr Lisa Ackerley said: “Hand washing is probably the most cost-effective and simple way to reduce disease, whether in the UK or in the rest of the world. Literally, our safety, and that of others, is in our hands. By making sure we have clean hands, we prevent passing our germs on to others and we also make sure we don’t get sick from infections left behind by other people.”

Clemence Brunet from Domestos, added: “It’s alarming to see that despite the care we give our favourite toys and household items, they’re still grubbier than the average toilet seat.”

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