Avoiding contaminated surfaces in your everyday routine


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)—Health experts continue to advise you to wash your hands to prevent contracting bacteria and viruses, but you may not be aware of just how often you come in contact with germs.

GermBlast is a disinfection services company, with experts going around the country inspecting and disinfecting areas contaminated with germs. They followed KTSM 9 News reporter Stephanie Shields for a few hours as she went about her everyday errands, such as grocery shopping and going to work.

From simple everyday tasks like filling up your car with gas, or taking out cash from the ATM, you’re constantly touching things millions of other people touch as well.

“Pretty much anything that you can touch, you can contract anything, you got bacteria, viruses, mold that’s even on those areas so just be aware,” Yassiel Ibarra, the area operations manager of GermBlast, said.

During the experiment, GermBlast experts found reporter Stephanie Shields touched more than 50 items with higher contamination points.

The specialists swabbed items and tested them on a device to calculate if they were “high touch points” or areas that typically come in contact with many people.

“We read on a 200 relative light units per second and anything above a 200 is pretty much considered contaminated,” Ibarra said.

Items like a gas pump at a local gas station scored in the 600s according to the expert’s swab tests, meaning it was highly contaminated.

Although it’s nearly impossible to avoid touching items on a day-to-day basis, experts suggest ways you can minimize it or lower your risks of contracting bacteria and viruses.

“Carry disinfecting wipes, just because you can actually remove gross organic material from your hands rather than just having an actual hand sanitizer just moving it around so my recommendation is just carrying those around and again covering coughs, covering sneezes.

Some tips to minimize your contact with bacteria and viruses according to GermBlast experts:

  • Wash your hands more often, including after touching public items
  • Avoid using hands to touch objects, use elbows or knees to hold doors open, etc.
  • Wipe down surfaces before you touch or use
  • Stay home from work or school if you feel sick
  • Avoid touching nose, mouth and face

“Areas of high touch point you have to be considerate andjust really aware of what you’re touching just to make sure you dont touch your face, nose, your mouth, because that’s how most people do get contaminated or do get exposed to things like the flu and any other kind of disease that we have out there,” Ibarra said.

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