A study from UK-based hygiene services provider Initial reveals that women’s handbags are home to more bacteria than the average toilet.
After swabbing 100 surfaces and items from 25 handbags, researchers found that the dirtiest parts of a woman’s purse were the bag linings, makeup, and hand or face cream, which alone had more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
Spongy leather bags also provided ideal conditions for bacteria growth and germs, and one in five handbag handles have enough bacteria to pose a risk to human health.
“Handbags come into regular contact with our hands and a variety of surfaces, so the risk of transferring different germs onto them is very high,” explained Peter Baratt, the Technical Manager at Initial Hygiene. “Especially as bags are rarely cleaned.”
The researchers suggested regular hand sanitation as well as thoroughly cleaning bags with antibacterial wipes or gels to prevent cross-contamination.
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