- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
A New York City teen reportedly licked a handrail at the entrance of a city subway station for one dollar.
“If anyone dares you to lick anything in public, lick a toilet seat,” said University of Arizona microbiologist Charles P. Gerba, according to NBC News. “It would be safer to lick a toilet than a handrail on a bus.”
Gerba stated that 50 different microorganisms can be found on a toilet seat, but thousands more can be found on a handrail. He also recommended that those who use public transportation use hand sanitizer after arriving at their destination.
“Americans are terrified of butt-borne diseases,” he said, which is why people usually clean toilet seats.
However, some say that the teen, who The New York Post reported was not identified, probably will not fall in due to his acts, which were caught on video and posted on YouTube.
“I think the likelihood that he will get ill is very low. We all have bacteria in our mouth that are normal that will provide us with protection,” said Mayo Clinic assistant professor Mary Jo Kasten. “If [the railing] has fecal matter on it, maybe [he] could get hepatitis A or another infection.”