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Hospital elevator buttons should not be touched, study says

Americans spend much of their stay at hospitals in and out of elevators and bathrooms. It's already known that hospitals are filled with bacteria. A recent study takes a closer look at the bacteria in hospital elevators and bathrooms.
Alyssa Banks, KSL Modified: July 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm •  Published: July 11, 2014
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It's well-known that hospitals are full of germs and bacteria. What's less known is the amount of bacteria that is found on the buttons of hospital elevators.

A study in three hospitals took swabs of 120 elevator buttons and 96 bathroom surfaces to evaluate the level of bacteria found on each.

For the elevator samples, researches swabbed two buttons inside and outside the elevator. Bathroom sample surfaces included interior and exterior handles of the bathroom door, the lock on stall doors and the toilet flusher.

The results proved to be less than predictable.

When comparing the bacteria of elevator buttons to that of bathroom surfaces, researchers found the "prevalence of colonization of elevator buttons" was 61 percent versus the 43 percent on bathroom surfaces swabbed, according to the study.

And while hospital elevator buttons are indeed dirtier than bathroom surfaces, according to Vox, hospital elevator buttons are actually cleaner than the computer keyboards and ultrasound transducers in hospitals.