September 23, 2016
From Filth to Filth

From Alternet:

Still, the new study gives one pause and suggests a bottle of sanitizer might not be a bad glove compartment staple. It’s not just the number of germs present on gas pump handles, but the quality of those germs. The earlier Kimberly-Clark study, led by a University of Arizona microbiologist named Charles Gerba (whom colleagues know as “Dr. Germ”), found that 71 percent of the pumps were highly contaminated with germs associated with disease. The new survey, conducted by Busbud, studied samples from three different gas stations, as well as three different charging stations, to see what we may be exposing ourselves to. The sample size is small, but the results mirror the larger earlier study and are eye-opening.

Based on laboratory results from swabs from the sample gas pumps, handles on gas pumps had an average of 2,011,970 colony-forming units (CFUs), or viable bacteria cells, per square inch. Worse, the buttons on the pumps (where you select the grade of gas you want), had 2,617,067 CFUs per square inch. To put that in perspective, money, which is considered quite dirty since it changes hands often, has only 5.2 CFUs per square inch. A toilet seat has 172 CFUs per square inch. That makes a gas pump handle about 11,000 times more contaminated than a toilet seat, and a gas pump button 15,000 times more contaminated.

The new study doesn’t give me pause, nor does it suggest a bottle of sanitizer. We are constantly and unavoidably surrounded by germs. They are a part of us, a part of life. For germs thou art, and unto germs shalt thou return. Relax, people. If gas pump buttons could kill you, you’d be long since dead.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 23, 2016 12:31 PM
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Trump, of course, is a hard-core germophobe who hates even to shake hands. But who am I to talk? I'd hate to shake his hand too.

Posted by: Pluma Lashley on September 23, 2016 1:05 PM

What this study doesn't seem to answer is, "why?" Why are gas pump handles filthier with germs than toilet seats? What are people doing while they drive? What are they touching, besides their cell phones?

And also, does it logically make sense that their cell phones as contaminated as their gas pump handles? And if so, can texting cause dysentery? Inquiring minds want to know.

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Posted by: The New York Crank on September 23, 2016 3:35 PM

Just lick the pump handle and buttons before use. It really doesn't take that long.

Posted by: on September 24, 2016 11:58 PM
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