Ever wondered about the amount of bacteria on a public surface? You may finally have an answer. According to a report released by consumer product company Kimberly-Clark, gas pump handles and mailbox handles are some of the dirtiest surfaces in America.
The study involved extensive testing across six major U.S. cities. Public surfaces were tested for the presence of Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP, the energy-bearing molecule present in all living cells. Detection of ATP indicates that the surface has been contaminated by humans, animals, vegetables, bacteria, yeast or mold. An ATP count of 300 or higher means that the surface is at high risk for illness transmission.
"The likelihood for illnesses to transfer from the objects that people use every day like ATMs and parking meters is eye-opening," said Brad Reynolds of Kimberly-Clark Professional's Healthy Workplace Project.
The solution? Just wash and dry your hands more often.
Check out our slideshow of some of America's dirtiest surfaces. The numbers indicate the percentage of surveyed items that had ATP levels of 300 or more. Seventy one percent of gas pump handles, for example, had ATP levels of 300 or more.