Study: Germs are everywhere

LOS ANGELES (NBC) - After swabbing hundreds of surfaces, a team of hygienists discovered filth was everywhere.

The tests by Kimberly-Clark showed gas pump handles top the list of the dirtiest surfaces people touch every day.

"It comes down to the fact that nobody cleans the things that you're going to touch on a daily basis," said Dr. Kelly Arehart, program leader of Kimberly-Clark's Healthy Workplace Project.

Such everyday objects are breeding grounds for the worst bacteria and viruses, according to researchers, and they could be transmitting illnesses.

Germs from hands can transfer seven times before leaving the skin.

With all the cars on LA freeways, that's a lot of germs moving around -- from the steering wheel to your home to the office, and everywhere in between.

Linda Dickey, a Nurse at UCI Medical Center, says it doesn't mean you'll necessarily get sick when you touch everyday things.

She advises hand-washing and the all-important advice your mother may have given you -- keep your hands away from your mouth.

"Our bodies are built to protect us," Dickey said. "You have to have enough organisms that you come in contact with to even get sick in the first place... for every day, a little dirt won't hurt you."

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