What’s in Your Wallet? A Whole Lot of Germs

Open your wallet. Pull out a dollar bill. You’ve just touched more than 3,000 bacteria that have been linked to stomach ulcers, acne, pneumonia and staph infections. (Thinking about using that plastic credit card more often now?) These kinds of microbes, which are found on many surfaces, are transferred when we touch things. Money, in particular, gets handed around a lot, say researchers with New York University’s aptly named Dirty Money Project. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter …

Don’t Flush That! ‘Flushable’ Wipes Can Wreck Pipes

What should be flushed down the toilet? Only toilet paper and, well, you know. What shouldn’t? Those new, so-called flushable personal wipes, say a growing number of city sewer managers, who are dealing with humongous clumps of these wipes clogging up pipes and sewers across the country. Unlike toilet paper, which quickly breaks down in water, these other products despite their claims of being “septic safe” and “breaking down like toilet paper” tend to stay intact, gumming up …

The Wrong Kind of Dirty

Q: I am 58 and have a deep connection with a man Ive known for about a year. We get along fabulously and I believe most women would think he is a great catch; I definitely do. My problem stems from his questionable hygiene. His work requires some extreme conditions as well as some dirty jobs. Im not sure he realizes this hygiene issue has spilled into his everyday life and I don’t know how or if I should broach …

Who Has The Germiest Offices? Guys, I Think You Know

When it comes to germy office-mates, some of us are spreading around more bacteria than others. We’re talking to you, gentlemen. A new study finds that surfaces in men’s offices are covered in 10 to 20 percent more bacteria than those in women’s offices, say researchers who swabbed chairs, phones, computer mice, keyboards and desktops in 90 offices in New York, San Francisco and Tucson, Ariz. Most of the bacteria came from the workers themselves, spread by coughing, sneezing and …

How Often Do You Change Your Sheets? (And Other Revealing Facts)

How often do you change the sheets on your bed? Once a week? Every two weeks? When they’re stiff enough to stand upright? How about brushing your teeth, washing your hair or (ugh) re-using your underwear before laundering it? With the annual rite of spring cleaning upon us, we thought it’d be interesting to see how just how hygienic Americans are, on average, when it comes to these various must-do’s. The Albany Times Union recently conducted an online pollof its …