Germ tests prove cash machines are 'as dirty as public toilets

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Next time you take money out a hole-in-the-wall, you may want wear gloves. Cleanliness tests have revealed that cash machines are dirty and carry the same germs as public toilets.

Experts took swabs from the numeric key pads a string of city centre ATMs around England which are used by thousands shoppers every day.

They then took similar swabs the seats of nearby public toilets and compared the bacteria under microscopes in a lab
The swab left to grow overnight and samples from both locations were found to contain pseudomonads and bacillus, bacterias are known to cause sickness and diarrhoea.

Pictures of the results clearly show the extent bacterial growth.

Yesterday, Dr Richard Hastings, microbiologist for BioCote, said: 'We were interested comparing the levels bacterial contamination between heavily-used ATM machines and public toilets.

'We were surprised by results because the ATM machines were shown to heavily contaminated with bacteria; to the same level as nearby public toilets.

'In addition the bacteria we detected on ATMs were similar those from the toilet, which well known as causes of common human illnesses.'

The study of 3,000 adults also revealed public telephones are considered biggest health risk.

Only public toilets were ranked higher than phone in the grime league, with almost two thirds calling them either 'very dirty' or 'fairly dirty'.

Third place in the study went to stops, while the dusty and grimy atmosphere in London Underground and metro stations saw them ranked fourth.

Seats on a bus completed the top five, with one in ten admitting they regularly try to clean or cover them before sitting down.

Tube and tram seats followed close behind in sixth place cash machines were at number seven.