Nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting are all symptoms associate with the flu virus, but new research has revealed these symptoms could indicate poor bathroom hygiene.
The Mintel Toilet and Hard Surface Care UK report, published in March this year, 32 per cent of the British public clean their bathroom less than once a week, allowing dangerous bacteria to congregate in areas of the bathroom we might least expect.
This then exposes people to health problems including stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Experiments run by Mira Showers, in partnership with Marco Mendoza Villa, a researcher from Bristol University’s Science Department, revealed that shower trays and bathroom sinks are putting us most at risk.
Meanwhile the toilet is one of the cleaner areas.
Of all the areas tested, the toilet seat was the only area of the bathroom that did not contain E.coli.
The most bacteria infested areas of the bathroom, after areas had been left for a little over a week without cleaning:
1. Shower tray (72 per cent infected)
2. Basin (71 per cent infected)
3. Tap (43 per cent infected)
4. Shower head (32 per cent infected)
5. Toilet seat (29 per cent infected)
6. Bathroom floor (23 per cent infected)
7. Shower enclosure (16 per cent infected)
8. Bathroom door handle (<1 per cent infected)
In total there were 11 different types of bacteria detected, from the relatively harmless Micrococcus and Enterobacter aerogenes to the potentially more harmful E. coli and Salmonella.
Marco Mendoza Villa said: “It’s easy to think that harmful bacteria will only develop in and around the toilet but our experiments have clearly revealed a wide array of bacteria on all bathroom surfaces.
“These include E. coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterococcus, Klebsielle pneumoniae, Streptobacillus, Campylobacter, Fungi (yeast) and Micrococcus, many of which can easily lead to nasty illnesses including stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.”
Another recent report found multipurpose cleaning fluids are the most commonly used hard surface cleaners by the British public (used by 75 per cent of the population). But are they really the most effective for tackling dirty bathrooms?
Marco Mendoza Villa provided his scientifically-backed recommendations for beating the bacteria in your bathroom:
Some cream cleaners may in fact exacerbate the spreading of bacteria rather than killing them off. They either distribute the bacteria further, or the cleaning product quickly becomes too diluted to work effectively if used on a wet surface like the shower tray.
Bleach is the most effective cleaning product as it continuously showed a drastic reduction in areas affected by bacteria and fungi.
If bleach is not something you are looking to use in your bathroom, use anti-bacterial sprays. Used properly, they are just as effective as bleach when it comes to reducing bacteria infected areas.
Consider cleaning your bathroom at least once a week to keep bacteria build-up down.
A cough and runny nose are symptoms of the common cold, but in some cases, they could be a sign of a cockroach infestation.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) say there are four different breeds of the pest common to Britain.
And because they’re so secretive – scurrying away at the first sign of light – you might not even know your home is harbouring them.