Lots of people take their shoes off at home because they want to reduce wear and tear on their carpets and floors, or they simply like being barefoot. Research studies have shown that taking your shoes off at the door also makes your home healthier and cleaner.
“In a recent study, researchers from the University of Houston found that 40 percent of doorsteps samples were contaminated with C. difficile bacteria, and so were 39 percent of shoe soles,” according to Men’s Health. “Why’s that a problem? As its name suggests, C. difficile, often known as C. diff, isn’t easy to treat—several strains are resistant to antibiotics. An infection with this bug can leave you with watery diarrhea, and in some cases it even progresses to dangerous colon inflammation.”
Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, did a study in 2008 to investigate the number and types of germs and microbes collected on footwear. They found large numbers of bacteria both on the bottom and inside of shoes; averaging 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 on the inside.
“Some of the bacteria found on the shoes included: E. coli, known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis and diarrheal disease; Klebsiella pneumonia, a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia; and Serratia ficaria, a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds,” they said in a press release.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to keep these bacteria from entering your home. Just take your shoes off as soon as you step in the door. Or wash your athletic shoes. Dr. Gerba’s study found that “simply washing the shoes with detergent was found to eliminate the fecal bacteria and reduce all bacteria by 90 percent or more.”
- On July 20, 2015
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