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Buses' handle bars dirtier than toilet lid

A study by multinational company Procter and Gamble (P&G) found that the bus is indeed the dirtiest of all PUVs—a fact that will probably not come as a shock to the thousands of Filipino who take the bus every day. Through the use of a luminometer, a photometric device that detects a sample's level of contamination, it was found that a bus's overhead handle bar—which most commuters touch as they struggle their seat or travel while standing up—has more germs than a trash bin cover or a toilet bowl lid. With it's contamination level of at least 3,815 RLU (relative light units), the handle bar exceeds the boundary of the "dirty level." "A reading of 500 and below means that the item surface is clean; 501-999 means that caution is needed; while 1,000 and above means it is dirty," said the study. The more germs, the higher the possibility of contact with viruses such as the influenza virus (cold and flu), salmonella (typhoid fever and diarrhea), and adenovirus (common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis), the study added. When also measured their level of contamination through their handle bars, it was found that tricycles (with at least 3,683 RLU), jeepneys (at least 2,869 RLU), and taxis (at least 1,583 RLU) can also be a threat to the health of commuters. On the other hand, the handle bars of shuttles, mostly used by commuters living outside Metro Manila to travel back and forth to the city, have a contamination level 963 RLU—barely making it to the "caution level." Nevertheless, it is still dirtier than a toilet bowl rim, according to the actual luminometer testing results done during the study. The only one that passed the test is the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), with an RLU of 465. "The contamination levels of these PUVs are affected by different factors such as air pollution, human contact, and frequency of cleaning practices by the operators or owners, among others," said P&G. Related: Helpful hygiene tips — Amanda Fernandez/BM/HS, GMA News