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Sponges could harbor paralyzing bacteria

December 12, 2012

LONDON — Sponges could harbor around 10 million bacteria per square inch, making them nearly 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, according to the Daily Mail.

spongeExperts believe the bacteria lurking on sponges might not just be harmless, but could also be linked with bacteria that cause paralysis, the article stated.

According to the article, Dr Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, has said that the toilet seat is actually one of the cleanest surfaces you’ll find, in terms of microbiology, and that we should be more worried about other items, such as sponges, dish cloths and reusable shopping bags. 

One of the targets for the Health Protection Agency was a bacterium called Campylobacter, the cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis, the article noted.

"It doesn't affect your thinking or feeling, but it can spread to the peripheral nerves around the brain and effect movement," said Professor Hugh Pennington, one of Britain's leading microbiologists.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.