Bring along your hand sanitizer the next time you’re pumping gas – a new study says they are the filthiest thing you touch on a day-to-day basis.
According to a recent report by Kimberly-Clark Professional (a division of hygiene company Kimberly-Clark Corp), gas pump handles are covered with germs. After swabbing and taking samples from hundreds of different surfaces from around six U.S. cities (including , Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia), researchers were able to conclude which surfaces were a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and viruses.
Gas pumps made it to the top of the list of things not to touch without a Hazmat suit, followed by public mailboxes, escalator rails and ATM buttons. Also making the list are parking meters and kiosks, crosswalk buttons and buttons on vending machines in shopping malls.
“It comes down to the fact that nobody cleans the things that you’re going to touch on a daily basis,” said Dr. Kelly Arehart, program leader of Kimberly-Clark’s Healthy Workplace Project.
This is just another good reason to pay a few extra bucks and take your car to a full-service gas station.