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MissDP

Harmful germs or not?

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MissDP    0

I realize this is a weird question to ask, and yes, I am a bit of a germaphobe. I have a carpet doormat indoors that I walk on when I enter the house. It hasn't been cleaned in 8 months. I only ever walk on it with my shoes on. Today, i walked in and somehow a hair had ended up half on the doormat and half on my wooden floor. Anyway, i ended up "walking" that hair halfway across the house. I am a germaphobe but i have no intention of disinfecting the floors in my house (I've run out of disinfectant now anyway haha!). Seriously, what are the chances that I've spread harmful germs around my house? Nowadays, there are so many articles about how dangerous it is to wear shoes indoors, whereas they used to say germs were good for us. I'm sure it's a marketing ploy to get us to buy cleaning product. I would appreciate an honest answer. To be honest, I really don't think I would've spread harmful bacteria.Thanks!

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StringJunky    1503

I realize this is a weird question to ask, and yes, I am a bit of a germaphobe. I have a carpet doormat indoors that I walk on when I enter the house. It hasn't been cleaned in 8 months. I only ever walk on it with my shoes on. Today, i walked in and somehow a hair had ended up half on the doormat and half on my wooden floor. Anyway, i ended up "walking" that hair halfway across the house. I am a germaphobe but i have no intention of disinfecting the floors in my house (I've run out of disinfectant now anyway haha!). Seriously, what are the chances that I've spread harmful germs around my house? Nowadays, there are so many articles about how dangerous it is to wear shoes indoors, whereas they used to say germs were good for us. I'm sure it's a marketing ploy to get us to buy cleaning product. I would appreciate an honest answer. To be honest, I really don't think I would've spread harmful bacteria.Thanks!

I don't see how your usual routine isolates bacteria; you have been spreading harmful "germs" for years and suffered no ill-effects, have you? What you are doing reading articles on it is reinforcing your belief or fears - confirmation bias. You can find anything on the internet to support ANY belief. The important part of that search is finding real evidence in your searches to support it that it's actually harmful.

 

Your suspicions are, on the whole, correct. It is marketing to make people feel that they really need xyz product because otherwise they will smell/die/be uncool etc.

 

You would do yourself a great favour by calling 'germs' instead microbes or bacteria. The word germs has wholly negative and misinformed connotations when, actually, alot of them already exist within and on our bodies already. We couldn't live without many of them and we are, each of us, a microbial ecosystem. Microbes only become harmful when there are too many of a certain kind in the wrong place and the usual harmless bacteria that inhabit there are in insufficient numbers to keep them at bay. Good personal eating and hygiene habits are about looking after the good bacteria (commensal bacteria) which act as a barrier to the harmful ones by preventing them populating their preferred parts of the body.

Edited by StringJunky

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MissDP    0

Thank you for replying! That's what I thought - I've been spreading microbes for years, and they haven't had a drastic effect! My usual routine is to not wear shoes in my house (so I don't transfer microbes from the street to my flooring". I was hoping to find an article that would say it wasn't harmful to wear shoes in the house. I am amazed to find so many articles that are along the lines of "never where shoes in the house". They're instilling fear into people. I was thinking "really, that tiny strand of hair could've transferred harmful microbes from my doormat to my flooring, and now I've put my family at risk of catching some horrid illness?" I suspected it was an irrational thought.

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CharonY    1604

In fact, overuse of disinfectants could actually worsen health outcome, as regular contact with small amount of bacteria helps to level out the immune response. In addition quite a few commonly used chemicals are also negatively associated with health outcomes. Basically one should be aware that a) bacteria are everywhere, including in and on ourselves, b) a sterile environment is not possible and likely not beneficial, c) infections are more likely due to contact with other humans (or animals).

I severely doubt that there are studies that found shoes to be a health hazard, especially due to bacteria.

The main reason for not wearing shoes is to protect your floor. When it comes to hazards a) pollutants are a bigger issue than bacteria and b) air quality is a much bigger issue (due to building materials, surrounding traffic, industry etc.), though often the levels are not too worrisome overall either. For example, regular commuting can result in more traffic-related exposure than being at home.

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StringJunky    1503

can Naegleria Fowleri (Brain Eating Amoeba)be contracted through dust and can it affect me outside of water

It seems so, they make cysts in dry conditions which could then become amoebae once they are in wet conditions again, like mucus membranes.

 

 

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Naegleria invades brain and meninges via nasal mucosa; exposure through swimming in contaminated pools, stagnant ponds, freshwater lakes, thermal springs, hot tubs and spas; infection by inhalation of cysts in dust or soil particles

 

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