The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One in four public soap dispensers are contaminated with bacteria and spread germs during hand washing

Person washing his handsImage via Wikipedia
It's always been common wisdom that washing your hands with soap eliminates, or at least reduces the amount of bacteria on your hands. Didn't your mother always say: "Wash your hands".

Well hold on to your hand sanitizer. A new study provides some disturbing findings about soap dispensers and hand washing. This study, published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, has found that one in four public soap dispensers in public washrooms are contaminated with bacteria. It gets worse. That contamination is passed on to the hand washer, even after thoroughly washing the hands.

From the study:

"Bulk-soap-refillable dispensers are prone to extrinsic bacterial contamination, and recent studies demonstrated that approximately one in four dispensers in public restrooms are contaminated. "
"The purpose of hand washing is to remove soil and to reduce the level of potentially pathogenic transient microorganisms. This is the first study to quantitatively demonstrate that washing hands with contaminated liquid soap actually increases the number of Gram-negative bacteria on hands. Furthermore, the results directly demonstrate that bacteria from contaminated hands can be transferred to secondary surfaces. We therefore conclude that washing with contaminated soap not only defeats the purpose of hand washing but may contribute to the transmission of potentially harmful bacteria."
Putting this real simply, if you use the public facilities and wash your hands, you have a one in four chance of having more bacteria on your hands than before you washed them. I suppose the moral of the story is don't use public facilities, or if you do, use your hand sanitizer. Look out Howie Mandel!

Dying man's last blog post – sad and inspiring – Derek Miller 's final post

Sunset from Sutro Bath at Land's End in San Fr...Image via Wikipedia
Derek Miller died in Vancouver on May 3, 2011. Incredibly, the blogger left one last post on that day, that is both very sad and inspiring. It's sad for the obvious, but inspiring for his lack of fear and in the way he embraced life. Here are some quotes from the blog post:

"Here it is. I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote—the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive." 
"If you knew me at all in real life, you probably heard the news already from another source, but however you found out, consider this a confirmation: I was born on June 30, 1969 in Vancouver, Canada, and I died in Burnaby on May 3, 2011, age 41, of complications from stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer. We all knew this was coming.That includes my family and friends, and my parents Hilkka and Juergen Karl. My daughters Lauren, age 11, and Marina, who's 13, have known as much as we could tell them since I first found I had cancer. It's become part of their lives, alas."
"What is true is that I loved them. Lauren and Marina, as you mature and become yourselves over the years, know that I loved you and did my best to be a good father.Airdrie, you were my best friend and my closest connection. I don't know what we'd have been like without each other, but I think the world would be a poorer place. I loved you deeply, I loved you, I loved you, I loved you."
"I haven't gone to a better place, or a worse one. I haven't gone anyplace, because Derek doesn't exist anymore. As soon as my body stopped functioning, and the neurons in my brain ceased firing, I made a remarkable transformation: from a living organism to a corpse, like a flower or a mouse that didn't make it through a particularly frosty night. The evidence is clear that once I died, it was over."
"So I was unafraid of death—of the moment itself—and of what came afterwards, which was (and is) nothing. As I did all along, I remained somewhat afraid of the process of dying, of increasing weakness and fatigue, of pain, of becoming less and less of myself as I got there. I was lucky that my mental faculties were mostly unaffected over the months and years before the end, and there was no sign of cancer in my brain—as far as I or anyone else knew. "
"The world, indeed the whole universe, is a beautiful, astonishing, wondrous place. There is always more to find out. I don't look back and regret anything, and I hope my family can find a way to do the same."
Read the full post here.