Research Shows Public Restrooms Are Dirtier Than You Think

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s no longer a dirty secret.

Experts are releasing their findings on research they did on the amount of germs found in public restrooms.

And it’s pretty disgusting.

Researchers say they studied “high-touch areas” in a “variety of public restrooms and commercial aircraft” from December 2010 through February 2011.

Read: Study Findings

They found public bathrooms are heavily contaminated with microbes that can make you sick.

In some cases, there were so many microscopic bugs, they couldn’t count all of them.

The worst areas were door handles and faucets of airplane restrooms and restaurant bathrooms.

Dr. David Wellman, a microbiologist at Stanford University, said you can’t run away from them.

“They’re found on every surface of our body, both inside and outside. They’re found all over the skin, in every pore and nook and cranny. They’re found in highest density in the gut, where they are probably more dense in number than any place on the planet,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Matt Ledin talks to Dr. Wellman

“We have such a stable, robust, dense community of organisms within the human body that it’s actually acquired the ability to resist invasion from outsiders. So, although there are some threats from the outside world, one of our principal defenses against that is the ability of our own communities to defend themselves against invasion by outsiders, by intruders.”

WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud reports

So what do you do to protect yourself?

After you wash your hands, try not to touch anything else in the bathroom. For example, use a paper towel to cover the door handle of the restroom as you leave.

The full report will be presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Boston on Friday.

  • emom

    OK really like this is any surprise, HELLO IT’S A BATHROOM. Even your own bathroom can be as GERMY as these are… Think about it, Kids are the worse hand washers, For that matter they hardly wash their hands, They are in a hurry to get back to what they where doing. You walk into your own bathroom you touch the light switch, door knob or edge of the door, the toilet seat and cover, the handle, the toilet paper and its holder, the faucet, the sink top and edges, the SOAP, the towels, the tub, the FLOOR IS THE WORST, you have to walk on it and well its not clean every day. so any bathroom is a breading ground for extreme germs, and its in our own home. Think about it when you are going to someone else’s home, what germs are there, who’s been there to leave their germs, ITS A BATHROOM its going to be germ,,
    Besides there as many other areas that are far worse than a bathroom, shopping carts, money, doors in public, toys in a doctors office, can goods on a shelf at the grocery store, tables at a restaurant, and there as so many more,, so don’t panic just WASH YOUR HANDS, its the best defence against germs,, Oh I personally do not like the hand germ stuff, its not all good for us, its a temporary barrier , and to much of it can destroy the good germs on your hands which is there to protect us. take away the good germs and you set yourself up to get sick,,,
    Wash hands with warm soapy water , get in between the fingers, under the nails and under jewelry, dry thoroughly and use a paper towel to leave public bathrooms, your good to go,, Just limit those darn germicide lotions,, I never use them and never have to worry,

  • PJS


    • roneida

      I can’t believe she woul have time to get sick.

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