How Dirty Are Your Shoes?
GMA Germ Alert:The Dirty Truth About Shoes Inside Your Home
By ELISABETH LEAMY and VANESSA WEBER
June 16, 2008
Do you wear your shoes in the house or leave them at the door? It's an especially important choice for people with small children who play on the floor.
Soles in tests had as many as nine forms of bacteria. In some countries and cultures, it's scandalous to walk into a home with shoes on. But in the U.S., most people do.
"I don't really think that much about it," said New Jersey mom Michelle Ciocon.
"Good Morning America" tested the bottoms of eight different people's shoes, as well as two dogs' paws, for bacteria. Ciocon's shoes contained the most bacteria of all ó 66 million organisms.
It's no reflection on her; she probably just stepped directly in something.
In a recent study, researchers at the University of Arizona found nine different species of bacteria on people's shoes. These types of bacteria can cause infections in our stomachs, eyes and lungs.
The study also found bacteria live longer on our shoes than in other places. As we walk, we constantly pick up new debris that feeds the growth of more bacteria.
The researchers tested to see if bacteria on shoes would transfer to the tile floors in a house. More than 90 percent of the time it did. Carpeting harbors bacteria even more.