British cars are breeding grounds for germs, claims study

5th of August 2015
British cars are breeding grounds for germs, claims study

Britain's cars may be a breeding ground for potentially dangerous bacteria, according to new research.

Microbiologists at the University of Nottingham took swabs from steering wheels, foot wells and seats to discover the levels of contaminants in vehicles. They found traces of eColi - which causes food poisoning - plus Staphylococcus which can cause infections of the blood, lungs and heart.

The research was carried out on behalf of which also questioned motorists about their car hygiene habits. More than half admitted to dropping food on their car seats while a third had spilt a drink.

Sixty per cent of motorists said they regularly ate at the wheel. And a further 10 per cent said they would simply throw rubbish under the seat without a second thought. However, 25 per cent admitted to cleaning the inside of their car just once every three months.

"It's really worrying to see just how dirty people are letting their cars get," said spokesperson Kate Rose. "We were expecting to find some bad stuff from the University of Nottingham's testing but we didn't expect to find bacteria relating to eColi in there.

"With people across the UK using their cars to transport children and friends, it's worrying to see that they would let their cars get in such a state."

The study follows another UK report last year that revealed that children's car seats harbour twice as many dangerous germs as the average toilet.

University of Birmingham scientists took swabs from children's safety seats and discovered an average of 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and fungi lurking in each square centimetre. In comparison a toilet was found to contain around half that number.



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