In our daily lives, we often come across hygiene habits that we have acquired from children, according to our parents' guidelines, or even during the experiences (good or bad) we have been through. On the other hand, there are those who do not care much about these issues.
For example, do you wash your hands regularly? Some people wash too much and there are those who wash too little, but it is important that there must be a balance and the right way to do this to get rid of bacteria.
In this world of hygiene and germs, there are many misconceptions we often believe. Some of them were clarified in a video from Mental Floss, which consulted research and experts, and we will introduce you below. Check out:
1 - The five second rule
You have probably dropped a loaf of bread or some other food on the floor and caught it very quickly to eat it, claiming that if it stayed there for five seconds or less there was no time for any germ to contaminate it. Is this such five-second rule really true?
Well, it seems, it's not. Despite not having many specific scientific studies on this, scientists say that bacteria make their way to food immediately after it reaches the ground.
According to them, it is a small amount of germs that invade the food within a few seconds, so the sooner you catch it, the fewer bacteria it will have. So it's worth catching fast, but that doesn't guarantee any germs will contaminate the item. After all, they have no awareness or sense of time to wait five seconds before breaking into the food, right?
2 - Soap kills germs
Proper hand washing with soap (or soap) can remove microbes completely but not kill them.
This is because soap is actually a surfactant (or emulsifier) that acts in contact with water. So when you wash your hands, you combine them both and the surface tension is reduced, allowing bacteria to come out of your hands, seeping down the drain. But in fact, they do not die, only they are removed.
3 - Viruses stay alive on a hard surface for a long time.
This is one of the terrors of people who suffer from obsessive compulsive hygiene disorders or even just a little over the top, but there is no need to worry so much about the fact that viruses are everywhere and live long on surfaces. such as door handles, vehicle handles and public handrails.
According to Mental Floss, it is normal to be a little afraid to play in these places of public spaces. However, it is important to know that viruses and bacteria do not survive long on these surfaces. How long they stay alive depends on the specific type.
For example, the flu virus usually only survives between two and eight hours, while cold ones last a little longer. Herpes virus dies after four hours on a surface.
So it doesn't take so much panic to touch these places. However, after going through a space or public transport, washing your hands when you get home, work or for meals is important.
4 - Urine disinfects burns and stings
No, urine is not a disinfectant, even for injuries like these or to clean the house. In fact, a 2014 study by Loyola University found that there are actually many bacteria even in healthy bladders. Therefore, it is not recommended to use urine to disinfect injuries as there is no benefit to this.
5 - Toilet seat is extremely contaminated
Are you one of those (or those) that cover the entire toilet seat when you go to a bathroom outside the house even though it is not dirty with the naked eye (with urine drops etc.)? Well, we know that toilets, especially from public places or very often from people, are not the cleanest in the world.
However, according to research, it is unlikely to get disease in them. According to Mental Floss, it is a mistake to think that you will get an STD by contacting your legs with a potentially contaminated toilet seat.
According to a 2002 University of Arizona study, there are about 49 germs per square inch in the toilet seat. Comparing that number to an average of 21,000 germs per square inch they found on some people's desktops is next to nothing.
Still, you should not touch the toilet seat by hand. In addition, the flush and other surfaces in the bathroom are even dirtier. Therefore, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
6 - Everyone washes their hands
Yeah, my friend, not everyone washes their hands after going to the bathroom, for example. According to a 2013 US study from the University of Michigan, 10% of people do not wash their hands after using a public toilet. This we are talking about a developed country; imagine in places with poor sanitation and few health recommendations.
Hand washing can greatly reduce the risk of diarrheal disease, which affects 1.7 billion people worldwide each year. In 2003, a review of seven hygiene studies found that if everyone washed their hands, there would be between 0.5 million and 1.1 million fewer deaths from diarrheal disease annually.
7 - Everyone Washes His Hands Properly
According to the same study cited in the topic above, 95% of people do not wash their hands long enough to get rid of germs. As we also talked about in this article about soap action, the recommendation by public health authorities is that the process of hand washing with soap and water should take at least 20 seconds or that the washing should be repeated.
According to Mental Floss, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the duration of the wash can be roughly the same as singing "Happy Birthday" twice. Do the test.
8 - Hand Dryers Spread Germs Everywhere
Gotta love it and have to hate those hand dryers that exist in some bathrooms. Many people even think that they spread bacteria with the wind that comes out of their contents. But, is this true? According to the University of Ottawa's microbiology department, which has conducted some studies, this is not true.
Hand dryers don't really spread germs on your hands. It is believed that dirt forms inside it, accumulating germs and being vented out, but this myth has also been debunked by some research.
However, some studies have shown that some bacteria has been spread through the environment due to the hand dryer. However, it has been shown that this effect was not harmful and was not the cause of any outbreak of disease or epidemic. So if you're not using hand dryers in emergency rooms, that's fine.
9 - Dirtier people catch lice
You can be the cleanest of creatures, take two or more showers a day, wash your hair often, but this will not make your lice less attracted to you. Unfortunately, this is true, as head lice are passed on by head-to-head contact with someone who already has them.
Even if your hair and scalp are spotless in cleanliness, if you lean your head against a louse-infested person, the pets won't be shy about jumping into your territory.
10 - Hand sanitizers cause bacterial resistance
Many believe that the use of hand sanitizers creates antibiotic resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs. According to Mental Floss, superbugs infect about 2 million people a year, but probably not because of their use.
Alcohol hand gel is capable of killing most bacteria in your hands. This product action involves breaking the protein inside the bacteria, which makes resistance very unlikely. It is antibiotics that tend to create superbugs. So if your sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol in the formula and does not contain any antibiotics, you are safe.