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Children's car seats are dirtier than toilets8th of September 2014
Children's car seats are contaminated with twice as many dangerous germs as the average toilet, a new study has revealed.
And cars in general contain more potentially hazardous bacterial and fungal species than any part of our homes.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham took swabs from children's car safety seats and discovered an average of 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and fungi in each square centimetre, including E. coli and Salmonella.
In comparison a toilet was found to contain around half that number.
A total of 2,000 motorists were polled by Continental Tyres regarding their car cleaning habits in the study, while 20 cars were tested for contamination. The drivers' homes were then swabbed to compare contamination levels in each. Cars in general were found to be much more germ-ridden than any part of the home, including the toilets.
"Cars can play host to a number of potentially harmful bacterial species," said Dr Anne-Marie Krachler from the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. 'These germs can easily spread in cars that are not cleaned often, especially if you eat in the vehicle or leave litter and food.'
The footwell was found to be the filthiest area in most vehicles, with several thousand bacteria typically discovered in each square centimetre.
Around one in five motorists cleans and de-clutters the inside of their car as infrequently as once a year, usually just before a visit to the garage. The research also found that 60 per cent of motorists are totally unaware of the health risks a dirty car poses to them and their passengers.