Saturday, November 11, 2006

bag hags, beware

here's something interesting we read in the philippine star last tuesday. as far as we're concerned, we avoid putting our bags on the floor because we've been told it's bad feng shui. and we certainly would never put it on the floor of a public toilet, eww! (then of course there's the fear that it will be stolen, so whenever we sit down, we put it on our lap and hug it tight.) but now we know we were doing the right thing because wherever you set your purse, it picks up all sorts of yucky stuff in the bottom. and remember, the bigger the bag, the more dirt it picks up...

Watch out for ‘bagteria’
The Philippine STAR 11/07/2006

Once more, with much more feeling, comes this friendly warning about "bagteria." Yes, while you know what’s inside your bag (or purse), you may not be aware of what’s on the outside (or bottom) of your bag. Most women carry one (a bag, that is) and they carry it everywhere they go – from the restroom to the boardroom, from the funeral parlor to the pizza parlor... We plop our bag on the floor of a public restroom, unmindful of what lurks in that oft-visited cubicle. And then we carry our bag straight to the dining table. Ever realized that it may not have been the restaurant food that once (or twice or thrice) gave you tummy trouble?

Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Laboratories put some bags to a test and they were found to be "surprisingly dirty." The bags tested were not only high in bacteria but were high in harmful kinds of bacteria.

To get to the bottom of the problem, the bags harbor salmonella and E-coli that can make people very ill, pseudomonas that can cause eye infections, and staphylococcus that can cause serious skin infections.

In a sampling, four of five bags tested positive for salmonella. And worst, Nelson Labs found fecal contamination on the bags. "Some type of feces, or even possibly vomit or something like that," says Amy.

Which purses harbor the most "bagteria"?

According to Amy’s findings: Leather or vinyl purses tended to be cleaner than cloth purses, and lifestyle seemingly had something to do with it. Apparently, people who have kids generally tended to have dirtier purses than those without (mommies don’t have to figure that out). And look, moms: The bag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all.

Moral of the story: Never put your bag on your kitchen countertop or dining table. Hang it on a hook at home or in restrooms.

Experts advise that you treat your purse the same way you treat your shoes. You wouldn’t want to see your shoes sitting atop your kitchen counter or dining table, would you?

The microbiologists at Nelson give this handy tip: Wash cloth bags or use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather bags.

Here’s hoping you’ll carry this reminder from now on with you everywhere you take your bag.

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