Stay on target
Good news, everyone! The ATM keypads you’re forced to touch every time you need to withdraw a few bucks? Turns out they’re not the festering disease transmitters you thought they were.
British website Netdoctor recently ran a headline that asked, Are ATMs a Health Hazard? If you’re familiar with Betteridge’s law of headlines, then you know that the answer to any question in a headline is almost always “no.” While that’s certainly true of this one, there’s an asterisk worth noting.
Recently, NYU researchers set out to “investigate New York City’s urban microbiome,” according to Netdoctor. While they didn’t necessarily plan to determine just how dangerous the ATMs in New York City were, they learned quite a bit during their research. They tested more than five dozen machines in Manhattan and Queens, and their report was surprisingly reassuring.
In spite of being fondled by hundreds or even thousands of people every day, ATM keypads really aren’t all that disgusting. They do reveal some interesting truths about the neighborhoods in which they’re located, though… like whether chicken or fish is a more popular main with residents.
Some nasty discoveries were made, of course. Among them: Trichomonas Vaginalis, a parasite that can cause vaginitis in women and urethritis in men and Toxoplasma gondii, which spreads toxoplasmosis.
Don’t go running for your towel yet. The NYU biologists said that the microbes they collected might no longer have been active and that the amounts collected may have been too small to pose us any real danger even if they were active.