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Kitchen may have more germs than toilet seat: study

Posted April 15th, 2017, 11:35 AM IST

Kitchen may have more germs than toilet seat: study

Hyderabad: Tiny particulate matter and carbon in the air are making worsening respiratory infections like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress and acute viral infections which is the prime reason for the patients showing resistance to antibiotic treatment, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Environment and Microbiology.

The study has found that the bacteria is able to tolerate the pollution both indoors and outdoors. It was found that more the pollution, more is the risk of the infection getting stronger.The places where bacteria are found to thrive the most is kitchen where the sponge that is used to clean utensils can harbour more than 2 lakh different bacteria.

Studies show that more germs are in the kitchen than on the toilet seat. Dr Geeta Naidu, senior general physician, said, “Bacteria need food to survive and there is food readily available in the kitchen. Left over pieces if they are not cleaned properly allow the growth of bacteria.”

Mobile phones were also found to harbour bacteria as they are used in the kitchen, washroom and carried around the homes. As the surface of the mobile phones, the touch screen and also it’s constant contact with skin allows the growth and also transferring of bacteria from the hand, ears and even mouth.

Dr P.N. Reddy, senior pulmonologist, said, “The phone allows bacteria to grow because of the heat that it provides. Transfer of bacteria from the phone to the human body is also being seen and that raises the concern that these indoor pollutants have to be controlled.”While outdoor pollution is from vehicles, construction sites and industries, exposure within homes is equally toxic with mosquito coils and incense sticks.

Dr K. Subhakar explained, “These are kept at a very close distance and within a confined place in the home where the individual breathes it on a regular interval. Hence the exposure is not only to those who go outside but also to those who are living within. Once the infection develops, it exists there for a long time and develops into a full blown one only later. Hence the bacteria are slowly accumulating and growing in number.”

Senior microbiologist Dr R. Rajeshwari said, “Laboratory tests and recent experiments have shown that in the first line of antibiotic treatments during the first time, the bacteria are killed in good number. But there are still some of them who are hiding and they slowly grow in number. What was the reason for their growth? What was the agent for them to get stronger again? These questions were often asked but slowly they are being decoded.”

Experts state that the black carbon which is in the air alters the antibiotic tolerance and increases the resistance of bacteria which makes the medicine ineffective. The study in published in the Journal of Environment and Microbiology. found that bacteria alter themselves and form new communities and protect themselves.

Household items that hold danger

Heating appliances in the kitchen microwaves, and ovens must not have left over foods strewn in them for long as it can allow growth of fungus and bacteria.
The cooking stove in the kitchen must be cleaned not only from the upper surface but also from the lower surface and sides.
Appliances in the kitchen must be kept in places where there is proper ventilation system as it releases carcon mono-oxide and that is harmful.
Smoke during cooking from gas stoves releases nitrogen dioxide.
Agarbatti or incense sticks release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and also other aromatic chemicals that have been used in making these sticks.
Tooth brushes and water heaters in the bathroom are also known to harbour E.coli and millions of other bad bacteria. Toothbrushes must always be covered with a cap.
Liquidators or vaporisers contain insecticide and pesticides.