Gas pumps top breeding ground for germs

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX-A study conducted by Kimberly-Clark will make you think twice about the things you touch everyday. After analyzing the data they collected from swabbing surfaces in several cities across the nation, researchers found the site that proved to be the filthiest. Victoria Maranan tells us which one it is.

A.T.M machines, mailbox handles and parking meters are some of the top breeding grounds for the worst bacteria and viruses, according to a study by Kimberly-Clark Professional, but none of them is considered to be the filthiest. The surface that gets the title may shock you.

We touch thousands of things everyday. It makes you wonder what could be lurking on those surfaces.

But the surface that's the filthiest? Gas pumps!

"I had no idea, I had no idea it's so filthy...I figured the seats in your bathroom are more dirty than that."

Sherman resident, Richard Norris was surprised along with fellow motorist, Jeff Eklund.

"No, not a chance. I had no idea. I know they're nasty smelling and looking, but I never gave that a thought," he said.

TexomaCare family physician, Dr. Angela Latham agreed with Kimberly-Clark's findings.

"I think if you went and swabbed all those things that we all are gonna find some things. Now I think the key to that is you don't want that to make it to your mouth or your nose," she said.

Dr. Latham also said germs are all over these surfaces because people constantly touch them and they're almost never cleaned.

"I think germs are all around us and they always will be and we're going to have some exposure," she said.

After Kimberly-Clark hygienists swabbed hundreds of surfaces in six U.S. cities, including Dallas, they found viruses, like ones that cause the common cold and flu, all over gas pumps. They also found bacteria that causes staph infections, which can be spread person to person.

"I don't know what I gotta do, I need to buy gas," said Eklund.

Since not all of us can always have a pair of gloves every time you get gas, you can keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you to stay on the safe side. Or, better yet, just wash your hands.

Dr. Latham added that it's also important to watch what you put into your body to help protect yourself from those germs.

"You want to make sure that your defenses are up and that you can fight them off. So all those things that momma always told you: get eight hours of sleep, drink eight glasses of water a day, eat your vegetables. You know, all those things that you know to do to take care of yourself, that's going to help you fight off any type of infection," she said.

Now that Jeff Eklund and Richard Norris knew how dirty gas pumps can be, both were in a hurry to get their hands clean.

"I either want gloves, the little plastic gloves to put on or sanitizer, which some of them do but I thought it was for the smell," said Eklund.

"I'm gunna go in my truck and use some sanitizer right now," said Norris.

The Kimberly-Clark study also stated that on average, germs from people's hands transfer seven times before leaving the skin. So, it's best to make the extra effort to make sure you're protecting yourself from germs that will make you sick.

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