On average, public restroom floors contain about 2 million bacteria per square inch (that’s 5 times more than the average toilet seat as a basis of comparison), and YOU might be allowing them all to take up residence in your home.
The answer may surprise you.
There may be no marker of modern civilization quite like the shoe: not only does it make huffing around the world’s terrain much easier, but it also serves as an indicator of our sensibilities, profession, and sense of style. And there’s something else shoes can tell us: whether or not we’re at risk of serious health issues.
In a recent study conducted by the University of Houston, it was determined that 39 percent of shoe soles sampled were contaminated with C. diff (Clostridium difficile), a bacteria that has become a public health threat and now resistant to a number of antibiotics. C. diff infections ranger in severity, but commonly present themselves with diarrhea, that may progress to colon inflammation and ultimately more serious health issues, if it does not respond to antibiotic treatment.
“Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes,” says study author M. Jahangir Alam, Ph.D.
C. diff is one of millions of bacteria that could be sneaking into your home via shoes worn by you or guests. To prevent this, be sure to ask your guests to remove their shoes at the door, especially if you have young children who spend the majority of their time at ground level.
While it’s less common in the West, most cultures around the world demand that you leave your shoes at the door as both a sign of respect to the home, and to keep harmful germs out.
Do you leave your shoes at the door? If not, perhaps you will now?
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