So, here’s something that you probably didn’t know. Gas pumps – the very lifeblood of our bold rides – are the most likely place to get cold and flu germs. A whopping 71 percent of gas pumps were found to have high levels of the germs considered to have a high chance of making you sick, according to a major study. This is an automotive site – not Bill Nye the Science Guy – so we’ll spare you all of the chemical info, but basically in the germ busting world ATP is to be dreaded in high doses. That’s what you’re finding at the pump. Forget about wearing those plastic gloves to keep the smell off your hands. Put them on to keep the germs out of your lungs.
“People do not realize the amount of contamination they are exposed to going to work each day and doing everyday things like filling their gas tank,” says Charles Gerba,PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, who did the research. “This … testing is compelling because it underscores the importance of hand and surface hygiene. Most cold and flu viruses are spread because people touch surfaces in their immediate area and then touch their faces, other objects and other people. Washing and drying your hands frequently throughout the day, can help prevent your risk of getting sick or spreading illness.” Just to make you even more paranoid about the things you touch every day, here is a list to send germophobes screaming into the night: • 71 percent of gas pump handles • 68 percent of mailbox handles • 43 percent of escalator rails • 41 percent of ATM buttons • 40 percent of parking meters/kiosks • 35 percent of crosswalk buttons • 35 percent of vending machine buttons
As long as you don’t pump your own gas, avoid the U.S. Postal Service, take the stairs and don’t cross the street, you should be fine.
BY KEITH GRIFFIN,