Sorry it's so long, but I didn't want to leave any of it out.
From an email I received about a week ago:
News articles on the same topic:
Your Purse Can Make You Sick
Have you ever noticed gals who sit their purses on public restroom floors then take them and put them directly to their dining tables? Happens a lot! It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach distress. Sometimes "what you don't know 'will' hurt you"!
Read on...Mom got so upset when a guest came in the door and plopped their purses down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up the buffet. She always said that purses are really dirty, because of where they have been. Smart Momma!!!
It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know what's inside our purses, do you have any idea what's on the outside? Shauna Lake put purses to the test - for bacteria - with surprising results. You may think twice about where you put your purse.
Women carry purses everywhere; from the office to public restrooms to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without their purses, but did you ever stop to think about where your purse goes during the day?
"I drive a school bus, so my purse has been on the floor of the bus a lot," says one woman. "On the floor of my car, probably in restrooms." "I put my purse in grocery shopping carts, on the floor of bathroom stalls while changing a diaper," says another woman and of course in my home which should be clean."
We decided to find out if purses harbour a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake, then we set out to test the average woman's purse.
Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what was on the bottom of their purse. Most said they usually set their purses on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared. Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be surprised if their purses were at least a little bit dirty. It turns out purses are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.
Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the purses tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections,staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the purses could make people very sick. In one sampling, four of five purses tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. "There is fecalcontamination on the purses," says Amy.
Leather or vinyl purses tended to be cleaner than cloth purses, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with kids tended to have dirtier purses than those without, with one exception. The purse of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all. "Some type of feces, or even possibly vomit or something like that," says Amy.
So the moral of this story - your purse won't kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. Use hooks to hang your purse at home and in restrooms, and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop.
Experts say you should think of your purse the same way you would a pair of shoes. "If you think about putting a pair of shoes onto your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing when you put your purse on the countertops."
Your purse has gone where every individual before you has spat, coughed, urinated, emptied bowels, etc! Do you really want to bring that home with you? The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a purse will help. Wash cloth purses and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather purses.
THIS IS WORTH SHARING!!!
Ladies, Your Purse Could Make You Sick
A purse can carry almost everything ... including an overabundance of germs and bacteria.
Researchers at the University of Arizona tested dozens of women's purses. Every single one had at least some contaminants that could cause sickness. Most had tens of thousands. One even reached the 6.7 million mark. (And that particular lady had purchased her handbag in the previous month.)
When microbiologist Chuck Gerba, who lead the study, demonstrated his discovery on ABC News by using a hand-held meter on audience members' purses, he found that half the bags tested positive for coliform bacteria - also known as fecal matter.
Many women also place their purse in the toddler seat of the shopping cart at the grocery store. (Those seats typically cradle the bums of children wearing leaky diapers.) They toss them under their chair in a restaurant where the last customer just dropped a shrimp. And who doesn't plop their bag on the ground from time to time, possibly in the same spot where the neighbor just walked his dog.
Can Your Purse Make You Sick?
It used to be that the worst thing you could say about someone's purse was that it was tacky. Now, it's "Get that germ-infested attempt at fashion out of here. I don't want to get sick."
That's a bit much, but researchers at the University of Arizona swabbed purses after they were left on bathroom floors and found evidence of fecal matter.
Other studies claim bacteria like e-coli can be brought into the home through purses, sparking some women to say purses need to be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes daily.
While there is a slight risk of infection from bacteria on purses, experts say the actual chance it will happen is rare and that daily purse cleaning is not necessary.
"I think that if you really think that you put your purse in a contaminated area, then yes, I'd wipe it down and clean it. But for the most part, you're going to be ok," said Dr. Yvonne Braver with the Cleveland Clinic. "Most of these things are not going to hurt you. I think you should be smart about where you put your personal objects, but I don't think you need to clean your purse daily."
Experts say washing your hands regularly is much more important than washing your purse.