Monday, August 09, 2004

Desk versus Toilet and a murderous Teddy Bear

Desk Germs: Your office desktop is 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat. The average desk has 21,000 bacteria per square inch, or 8,400 per square centimeter, while the average toilet seat has only 50. That's because we don't clean our desks well, or at all, and we do scrub toilet seats. Or at least most of us do. (...)
Stuffed bears are much more dangerous than grizzly bears. Eighty-two Americans were killed by bears between 1906 and 1995, while 140,000 injuries and at least 22 deaths a year are attributed to toys. Most of us know that buttons, eyes, bows and belts on stuffed animals are potential choking hazards, but it seems tripping over bears is the real danger. Notes from accidents: "Fell going down stairs, stepping over a stuffed animal, fell into banister. Lumbar strain" and "Fell over stuffed animal at home, striking forehead against coffee table, contusion face."
There's more. Teddy bears spread disease. Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand found "stuffed toys in doctors'offices had moderate to heavy bacterial contamination. Some toys carried lice, scabies, herpes viruses and germs that can cause conjunctivitis."
Teddies in day-care centers and libraries were similarly contaminated.

From Laura's Lee new book "100 Most Dangerous Things in Everyday Life and What You Can Do About Them", as reviewed in the Seattle Times on Aug. 08 2004.