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Handbags harbor harmful bacteria

May 14, 2013

LONDON — A new study has shown that women's handbags harbor more bacteria than the average toilet, and that that one in five handbag handles is home to sufficient bacteria to pose a risk to human health, according to the Daily Mail.

The research also revealed that the dirtiest item in the average handbag is hand cream — bottles of hand cream were found to carry more bacteria than the average toilet seat, with lipstick and mascara faring little better, the article stated.

According to the article, the study, initiated by Initial Washroom Hygiene, also exposed that leather handbags are the most bacteria-riddled because their spongy texture provides the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and spread.

"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, especially as bags are rarely cleaned. Once these germs are on the bags, they can easily be transferred via hands onto other surfaces," said Peter Barratt, technical manager at Initial Hygiene.

"Regular hand sanitization is essential to prevent the presence of bacteria in the first place and thorough cleaning of bags is recommended to prevent the build-up of contamination," Barratt added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.