"Good Morning America" did a story on the underside of people's shoes -- they said that 9 out of 10 shoes were contaminated with coliform (bacteria from fecal matter) that was most likely picked up from the floor of public restrooms or animal waste. The level of bacteria was 1,000 times higher than the level found on most toilet seats.
They cited university studies that found other forms of bacteria as well, which cause intestinal infections, eye infections, and even lung infections. The bacteria was easily transfered from the shoes onto both carpet and tile flooring. The bacteria apparently live longer on shoes than on other surfaces because as we walk around, the constant addition of new germs feeds the growing bacteria population.
Maybe it's just me, but I prefer my home -- where my grandchildren play on the floor and put their hands in their mouths afterwards -- to be cleaner than a public toilet seat, not 1,000 times filthier. If that makes me a poor host, so be it. (But I like to think that I'm doing my guests a favor, even if they don't realize or appreciate it -- I'm providing them with a clean environment to relax in, one that won't make them ill, and probably cleaner than their own home).
Monday, December 07, 2009
A great comment
I found this comment on this thread, Fodorite Lounge Forum: Shoes off in my house! Does this bug you?