UK ‘the dirtiest developed country’ according to study

22nd of October 2012
UK ‘the dirtiest developed country’ according to study

UK homes harbour more germs than those in other developed countries according to a Hygiene Council study.

Around 33 per cent of surfaces tested in UK homes were to found to have unsatisfactory levels of contamination. Only two other countries fared worse: Malaysia with 90 per cent and India with 78 per cent.

The study also revealed that 85 per cent of taps in Indian households were contaminated with E.coli, and that almost a third of Indians believe hand washing is "not a priority".

Only 10 per cent of UK respondents considered kitchen taps to be a potential germ risk - though 52 per cent of taps were contaminated. Kitchen cloths were the most heavily contaminated item with a quarter of UK cloths harbouring E. Coli, an indication of faecal contamination.

"I was shocked when I reviewed the results," said Hygiene Council member Dr Lisa Ackerley. "From previous experience I had expected to encounter E.Coli - but not as much as was found. When people use cloths in the kitchen for extended periods they create a ‘bacterial time bomb' that creates the ideal environment for germs to multiply and be spread around the home.

"Even more worryingly it is possible for E. Coli to survive on kitchen surfaces for up to 60 days. This is an indication of levels of contamination that could compromise the health of vulnerable family members such as children, the elderly and those who are already unwell."

A total of 140 homes from seven countries were swabbed in the Hygiene Council study. The nation fourth on the list was Saudi Arabia with unsatisfactory levels of contamination on 27 per cent of surfaces, followed by the US, Germany and South Africa with 22 per cent, 21 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.



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