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A new study has revealed that a woman’s handbag can carry more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
Bottles of hand cream were identified as the number one germ-carrying culprit, closely followed by cosmetics such as lipstick and mascara.
The study, conducted by Initial Hygiene, found that leather handbags were the worst for housing bacteria because of their spongy texture, which helps bacteria to grow and spread. The research also revealed that one in five handbag handles carries enough bacteria to be considered a health risk.
A spokesperson for the company told the Daily Mail that because handbags come into regular contact with our hands and a variety of surfaces, the risk of transferring different germs onto them is very high. This is compounded by the fact that women rarely clean their handbags.
Related: Where are the germs hiding?
Mr Barratt also warned that germs are then easily transferred from bags to other surfaces and that women should regularly use hand sanitisers and clean their bags thoroughly with antibacterial wipes to prevent bacteria from building up.
This research comes on the back of another study, also carried out by Initial Washroom Hygiene, that revealed workplace kitchens contain dangerous levels of bacteria, including high levels of coliform – a bacteria found in faeces that can cause gastrointestinal disease.
The study specifically cited draining boards, microwaves, and fridge and freezer handles as being areas of the workplace kitchen that are most rife with bacteria.
Related: Why germs can be good for kids