By Ron Dewey

DETROIT (WWJ) – A new study takes a microscope to some of the most germ-riddled places that we encounter each day. And as WWJ’s Ron Dewey reports, you might want to keep hand sanitizer handy next time you fill up the car.

The scientific survey, released Tuesday by Kimberly-Clark Professional, found 71 percent of gas pump handles have the highest concentration of germs that can make you ill.

A team of researchers swabbed hundreds of surfaces around Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia to see what everyday objects are breeding grounds for the worst bacteria and viruses.

Researchers analyzed swabs for levels of adenosine triphosphate, which signals the presence of animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast or mold cells. According to researchers, the high levels found suggest they can be transmitting illness.

Nikita Matthews of Detroit said she’s hip to this type of germ warfare.

“When I get back in from pumping gas, I sanitize my hands, every time I gas up. I work in the medical field, so I know. Trust me, I know all about it,” she said.

Chris Felling of West Bloomfield said the germs don’t bother him.

“I believe it, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I wash my hands very, very frequently and I think that’s the answer to everything. I’m going to go in there and wash my hands after I’m done gassing up,” he said.

The corner mailbox is also high on the list at 68 percent, followed by ATM buttons, escalator handrails, parking meters, crosswalk buttons and buttons on vending machines in shopping malls.


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