Health issues owing to unclean environments have been known to us for generations. However, as our lifestyle and external environment has changed, the health threats that can exist in a closed environment have also undergone a sea change. Unfortunately, our awareness on how to eliminate such threats hasn’t kept up. Most living and working areas still use the basic brooming and mopping techniques as the answer to clean their place. The fact is that this only addresses floor cleaning and that too in a limited way. Traditional way of dusting only agitates the dirt only to settle down on surfaces again. Studies suggest that up to 70% of the house or workplace is ignored with such primitive cleaning techniques.
The result is an accumulation of dirt and germs inside your house or workplace, without you knowing about it. Did you know that –
Studies have shown that a kitchen sink is likely to have more bacteria (e.g. e-coli) than your toilet bowl! This is because of left over food particles along with the wet and moist environment that serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. Or for that matter, according to another study done
26% of bathtubs had presence of bacteria (staphylococcus) in them that could lead to diseases. Did you also know that bed bugs and dust mites are a perennial problem in warm climate like ours and are the main cause of skin rashes and allergies?
The dirtiest thing in your house isn’t the garbage bag! It is your remote controls! It’s dropped on the floor, stuffed between the sofa cushions, coughed on and sneezed at. Everyone in the house handles it. A University of Virginia study of cold viruses on household surfaces showed the remote control’s surface is among the germiest. Researchers found that half of the remote controls tested were positive for cold viruses.
Carpets are probably the most misunderstood item in an indoor premises, be it an office or a house. The primary purpose of the carpet is to improve the air quality of the house by absorbing or trapping air pollutants like dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, etc. and not letting them be suspended in the air. However, these harmful substances need to be periodically removed from the carpet. According to American Lung Association, usual cleaning of carpets involved patting them with a broom or vacuuming it with a domestic cleaner which agitates the dirt and releases them back into the indoor air, thereby defeating the purpose of a carpet. Thus, what was supposed to be a health check in your house/office now becomes a harbinger of unhealthy substances.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that are commonly found in bed mattresses, couches, etc. and they live off our dead skin cells. Sleeping mattresses have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites inside them and studies show that an estimated 50-80% of asthmatics are affected by dust mites.
Additionally, The University of Manchester performed a medical study of pillows that found up to 16 species of fungi in a single pillow. They tested feather and synthetic pillows in a range of ages, finding thousands of spores of fungus per gram of pillow; more than is found on an average used toothbrush!
And to think that we spend 8-10 of hours everyday on a minefield of germs is enough to lose sleep over it. Imagine our children and elderly getting affected by it on a daily basis!
Studies have shown that poor interior hygiene not only leads to poor health but also increases susceptibility to illnesses, as we grow older. It also impacts the overall well being of children and can also lead to growth disorders in children. Common health problems like asthma, food poisoning, flu, etc. has also been related to unclean environments
According to a study from Aston University in Birmingham, an average vehicle has approximately 283 different types of bacteria in every square centimeter and the gear stick was said to be home to approximately 356 different germs, while your boot, where you normally place all your groceries, contains about 850 bacteria. The dashboard is one of the most unsuspecting homes for bacteria. When the AC is turned on, it releases the airborne bacteria and fungi that get blown straight into your food, your drink or directly into your face. These facts get even more serious in warm climates like ours.
A clean and healthy space ensures that we keep the above hazards at bay. Our lives are healthier and happier, our children grow up in a nourishing environment, elderly get the protection they need and our workplaces are vigorous and productive.