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Dirty Fact of the Day: Your Cute Purse is Probably Filthier Than Your Disgusting Toilet

Purse

Dirtier than you know

If you think people who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom are gross, you might want to grab some anti-nausea medicine and sit down for this one.

The findings of a new UK study shows that a woman’s purse hosts more bacteria than an average toilet flush, NBC News reports.

According to the study:

Swab tests exposing the dirtiest parts of women’s handbags and the items in them were conducted on a selection of office workers’ bags. Bag linings, makeup and mobiles were also swabbed to unveil the filthy truth behind the personal possessions we carry around with us every day. In total, Initial found that one in five handbag handles was home to levels of bacteria-related contamination which pose a significant risk of cross-contamination, while the single dirtiest handle swabbed housed almost three times this level. The dirtiest item in a handbag was found to be face or hand cream, with more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat, closely followed by lipstick and mascara.

Granted, the study was funded by a company that sells hand sanitizers, but the results are confirmed by people without a financial incentive.

“About a third of [women's purses] have fecal bacteria on them,” confirms Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist who has studied bacteria living on handbags, to NBC News.

Gerba says the main culprit is women eschewing the hooks on the back of bathroom-stall doors and instead using the floor to rest their purses while going about their business.

Going purse-free is sounding good right about now, no?

Photo credit: iStockphoto

More from Meredith on Babble:

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