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The dirty habits we all do EVERY DAY that are harming our health

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toilet phone dirty habits
They're the habits that plenty of us have, from nail biting to scrolling through Facebook while we 'relieve' ourselves, but could they be putting our good health in danger?

We've rounded up the daily dirty habits that are the worst for us, and it might just be enough to put you off doing them for good...

Filling your car with petrol

A petrol pump might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about dirty habits, but just imagine how many other drivers have had their hands all over them.

The company Busbud did a study to find out just out how many germs are lingering at petrol stations, and the answer isn't pretty. The results revealed that petrol pumps have more than 11,000 bacteria than a toilet seat.

The study said: 'When we looked at bacteria levels based on colony-forming units (CFU) - the number of viable bacteria cells - on items commonly thought of as dirty, petrol pumps and buttons were the absolute filthiest'.

If that's not gross enough, the buttons on the machine contain 15,000 more germs than your loo. Apparently, as petrol stations are in use pretty much 24-7, it's almost impossible to clean them. But still, we know that filling up your car is pretty essential, so try using a paper towel to grab the handle and washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap afterwards, to reduce bacteria.

Using a loofah

It might seem like you're making yourself cleaner with this handy shower scrubber, but loofahs are actually really gross.

Because of their shape and amount of holes, they're the perfect place for bacteria to breed, as well as building up a nasty collection of your dead skin cells. The warm, damp environment of the shower helps bacteria grow, so let it dry on a windowsill or anywhere else.

If you have a cut anywhere, scrubbing it with a dirty loofah can push bacteria in, possibly creating an infection!

If you can't bear to part with your scrubber, then make sure to chuck it out every two months for plastic ones, and every month for natural ones made from the luffa plant.

Owning a handbag...


German researchers found that over 10,000 different bacteria are in every few square centimetres of the average woman's handbag - with food scraps, animal urine and rubbish all being main offenders for causing the breeding ground. That lovely fact means they're dirtier than your average toilet seat!

Our hands are also partially to blame for transferring any bacteria we pick up during the day into the depths of our bags. Maybe we'll stick to pockets from now on?

Taking your phone to the toilet


Bad news if you like to browse your social media accounts while 'spending a penny', because experts have revealed you could actually be putting yourself in danger.

Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a professor of environmental health, told BuzzFeed that scrolling through your newsfeed while you're on the toilet isn't exactly good for you.

She explains: 'When you flush the toilet, water with faeces and urine sprays about six feet in every direction.

'And the aerosols increase with every flush, so if it's a public bathroom, there is dirty toilet water coating literally everything - especially the toilet paper dispenser, because it's right next to the toilet bowl.'

This essentially means there is a very fine coating of urine and poo on everything in our bathrooms.

Now, we don't know about you but we're seriously questioning where to put our toothbrushes now - because, well, our bathroom isn't long enough to leave them over six feet away from the toilet. And now we have a lot more respect for those tiny (previously laughed at) plastic toothbrush head covers.

Getting germs from urine and faeces on your phone can potentially be very harmful. E coli bacteria is found in poo which can cause food poisoning symptoms such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Then there's the small matter of holding your phone to your face routinely, sleeping with it close by and keeping it in your warm pockets so the bacteria can just breed.

We think we might just leave our phone outside of the bathroom door next time we need to go.

Popping a spot


We know, it's pretty tempting, it's just sitting there staring boldly back at you from your very own face - but popping that spot will do more harm than good.

You see, zits are packed full of pus and white blood cells. Squeezing them will result in you pushing the bacteria further down into your skin, causing further infection and sometimes even scarring. Plus, once you're finished picking away at your face your hands will be covered in spot-spreading bacteria. Not. Good.

Biting your nails


Handily (see what we did there?) located to pick up bacteria, your nails could be hiding a whole smorgasbord of disgusting delights.

Bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli thrive in the tight, warm space between your fingers and nails and then as you nibble away they make their way into your mouth. Delicious, right?

As you bite your nails, the bacteria easily transfers into your mouth and the rest of your body, where they may lead to infections, vomiting and diarrhea. The most common culprits for causing nail-biting bacteria? Changing nappies, bad bathroom hygiene and handling raw meat.

Putting your handbag on your work surfaces


If you think about it, this one makes perfect sense.

Our handbags are put down all the time, beside our desk at work, on the floor at home or on public transport, and even beside the loo in public cubicles. Alarm bells ringing yet? They should be.

Lots of us then go home to pop our bag on the work top which then transfers any bacteria to the area where you prepare food. A US study found that the average handbag contained 10,000 bacteria per square inch and a third were contaminated with faecal bacteria.

Leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor


A study by Dr Ackerley from the University of Arizona found towels to be a hot house for, you guessed it, bacteria.

'If you have a heated towel rail or radiator, then that's the place for your wet towel,' says Dr Ackerley.

'If a used towel stays wet and warm on the floor, then bacteria and fungi will grow and the towel will become smelly.'

Continued below...


Fungi doesn't sound like something we want to be drying ourselves with and Dr Ackerley has further advice for any towel sharers out there, saying, 'If you share towels (which isn't advised) then any infection on the towel - such as athlete's foot - can transfer from one member of the family to another. Wash towels above 60 C to kill micro-organisms.' There you go, you've been warned!

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