New studies suggest that keyboards of ATM machines might be as dirty as the public toilet seats, if not more. Infact, the tests go on to elaborate that not only these cash vending machines are laden with germs, but the bacteria present in there can actually make you terribly sick!
To conduct the study, British researchers took swabs of ATM keypads and seats of public lavatories and compared the two. The results were shocking, to say the least. The scientists found that the swabs from both the places contained bacteria which could potentially cause bloating and diarrhoea in humans.
To quote the researcher Richard Hastings, a microbiologist for BioCote, “We were surprised by our results because the ATM machines were shown to be heavily contaminated with bacteria; to the same level as nearby public lavatories.”
But here is the catch, BioCote–which conducted the dirty ATM research–actually sells antibacterial products.
Hastings further added, “Public telephones can be a real hot spot for germs and grime.
“Not only are they handled by different people each day, but the handsets are then held close to people’s nose and mouth.”
”But it’s ironic that while people perceive chip and pin pads to be the least dirty, our swabbing experiments have actually shown them to be dirtier than public lavatories.”
So, while we cannot entirely vouch on an antibacterial seller’s research, there is still no harm in washing our hands or cleaning them after using an ATM vestibule for your own peace of mind.
The bottom line
The finding may not be groundbreaking but it should be warning enough to be a little more careful about where we place our hands in public.
Our suggestion? The next time you go inside an ATM vestibule for transactions, we suggest using your knuckles to punch in the numbers or carry disinfectant wipes with you, where ever you go.