Today Show: Germs And Bacteria In Handbags & Purses—How To Clean Them?

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Today Show: Study Shows Large Amounts Of Bacteria In Handbags

A recent study done in the United Kingdom has given germophobes another inanimate object to be absolutely horrified of: handbags. A study by the UK company Initial Washroom Hygiene found large amounts of bacteria in handbags. Not only that, but some of the items inside the handbags were also covered with germs, such as hand creams, and can harbor more germs than your average toilet seat. With our hands going in and out of the handbags every day, it only makes sense to hear that tote you have might be a breeding ground for germs.

Today Show: New Study Shows Large Amounts Of Bacteria In Handbags

There may be high amounts of bacteria in your handbag. How harmful is it?

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Today Show: How Many Germs Are In The Handbags At Today Show?

Macrobiologist Nathan Lents came on the show today to show the producers and cast of the show just how dirty their handbags may be. After taking samples from the underside, inside, and handles of several of the staffs handbags. He then took samples from bathroom toilet seats, bathroom door handles, and phone mouthpieces. He predicted that, of all of those, the handbags would be the dirtiest. The samples went to a lab, where they cultured and analyzed, to see just how much bacteria there was inside the handbags.

Today Show: How To Clean Out Your Handbag

Two weeks after collecting the samples, the results were in, and they were not what you would expect. The scientists were not shocked by anything they found, they see these results every day. To the average person, however, these results may be surprising. Everything from staphylococcus warneri (responsible for many hospital-borne infections) to bacillus subtilis were found in the bags. Thankfully, these bacterias are nothing overly harmful to humans. They grow in handbags so easily because the environment is very dark and closed off.

Nathan Lents wanted to clarify that, though there were more different kinds of bacteria inside a handbag than on a public toilet seat, the ones on the toilet seat are the ones that are harmful. Some simple ways to prevent your handbag from getting too filled with bacteria, harmful or not, is to keep your handbag open as much as possible so the moisture is let out. Also, you can clean out the dust and crumbs once a week to give the bacteria less to eat.

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