Why Your Personal Hygiene Habits Aren't Nearly As Effective As You Think



Warning: If you're eating right now, you may want to put that fork down as you try to, um, digest the following information about your personal hygiene habits. Yes, those daily rituals you think are nice 'n' healthy are actually covering you with bacteria and (are you ready for this?) fecal matter (cue the barf bag!).

As proof positive, the Huffington Post put together a list of the offensive ways we create a cesspool without our knowledge. One of the scariest shockers on the list was about our laundry — and your undies may be the culprit. According to research conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, even a single pair in an entire load can transmit 100 million E. coli into the water. "There's about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear," Gerba told ABC. Yep, time to run that washer through a cleaning cycle with bleach, stat.

Another shocker was the belly button. The Huffington Post reported on a study posted in The Atlantic that is almost too hard (and gross) to believe. Researchers swabbed 60 belly buttons and found 2,368 unique species of bacteria — of which 1,458 may be completely new to science. As if that wasn't surprising enough, one swab contained a bacteria that has only been known to exist in the soil in Japan. It's important to remember that tons of bacteria live on and inside of us that are either neutral to our health or actually beneficial. But, that doesn't answer the question of how a Japanese soil-dwelling bacteria made it all the way to an American's bellybutton.

Click here to read the rest of these funky facts. While you might feel like washing your hands, like, right now, check out this video about a man who hasn't used soap or toothpaste in four years — yes, really. (Huffington Post)