In many countries it is not customary to wear shoes when entering a house. But it’s not just a tradition – many countries around the world have realized something that is proven by many studies: shoes can be a huge source of pollution in your home. That’s why:
421,000 species of bacteria per pair
Think about your ordinary day. You go to work, get your daily cappuccino in the usual cafe, then use the bathroom in the office, make a stop at the supermarket and go home again. These are the many places where your shoes step. And all of these floors contaminate soles with much more than just dust and mud.
When microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba analyzed a pair of shoes, he and his team found an average of 421,000 species of bacteria, not only stuck to the soles but also growing on them. They also found that nearly 3,000 species of bacteria live inside the shoes. And the most shocking part: 96% were of fecal origin; that is, in practice, your shoes can easily be dirtier than a toilet seat.
Almost 3 out of 10 shoes for example, they had E.coli, a bacterium that thrives inside your gut and which, although usually harmless, is known to cause a lot of stomach problems. Some species of E. coli even become stronger against antibiotics. In addition, microorganisms that cause urinary tract and lung infections have been found on 7 out of 10 shoes.
Public toilets can be one of the main sources of pollution, where millions of bacteria reproduce. Some of them can survive the power of your most reliable cleaners and antibiotics, such as C. Difficile bacteria, identified in 39.7% of the sole of the shoe and responsible for severe stomach pain, episodes of diarrhea and inflammation of the intestines. , all of which are especially difficult for children.
Watch out for hazardous materials
And if all these disgusting microorganisms are not enough for you, we have to worry about one more thing: chemicals. On a normal day, you step not only on dirt, but also on harmful toxins and dangerous chemicals that come from the gas station, leaking liquid from a car or cigarette on the floor. Some of them, such as those found on coal-sealed asphalt roads, may even be carcinogenic, according to researchers at Baylor University in Texas.
In short: It’s not about paranoia, it’s about hygiene
In your daily wanderings you step on the waste of dogs and birds, rotten food waste, public baths, strong chemicals and who knows what else. This is a nasty chemical and bacterial cocktail for you.
So, if you do not take off your shoes before entering your home, then you will invite between 90% and 99% of these rough living creatures and dangerous substances on the floor, sofa and if you are not careful, your bed.
It’s not paranoia, because we still need to be able to make antibodies, just be careful what you put inside your house.