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The 6 unhealthy habits that are dirtier than a toilet bowl

Bad habits

(NaturalNews) You would never dream of eating food off a toilet seat, right? Some potential sources of germs are a lot more obvious than others. No sane person would try to claim that a public restroom is not a veritable breeding ground of germs, dirt and other unpleasantness, but if you look really closely at your daily routine, you might discover that you have a habit that is spreading even more germs than that toilet without realizing it. Here is a look at some of the bad habits that you might have in your everyday life that could actually make your toilet bowl look pretty clean by comparison.

Chewing on pens

When you're sitting at your desk at work, do you ever catch yourself chewing on the end of your pen or pencil? If you're one of the 20 percent of office workers who admit to sucking on the end of their pens, you could find yourself in a lot more trouble than simply turning your teeth blue temporarily if you happen to gnaw the pen open. Think about it: Your pen has probably been touched by germ-laden hands throughout the day. Worst of all, if other people in your office have used it or you pass it to clients to sign documents, their germs will be on it, too! The Daily Mail reports that accountants have the most bacteria on average on their pens, with 2,400; lawyers have just 670 on average. In a separate study, more than a third of the pens used by nurses in intensive care were contaminated with bacteria.

Biting your nails

Biting your fingernails or chewing on the skin around your nails does more than just wreak havoc on your manicure. This mindless habit is actually a very effective way to transfer bacteria from your mouth to your internal organs, and you could even be creating tiny abrasions that allow even more bacteria to enter your body. This habit also puts you at a greater risk of getting gum disease.

Leaving the toilet lid open

If you leave your toilet lid open every time you flush, you better hope you have good immune health because you are actually releasing what is akin to an aerosol spray filled with tiny droplets of germy water throughout the surrounding area. This is particularly bad news if you happen to keep your toothbrushes within the range of this dirty spray zone, as they will become covered in microscopic fecal matter.

Skipping hand washing after using the bathroom

Everyone should wash their hands every time they use the bathroom. If you've been skipping this step, you should know that feces carries norovirus, E. coli and salmonella, and it can even spread respiratory infections. A study from Manchester University found that a single toothbrush can harbor more than 100 million bacteria, including streptococcus, staphylococcus, candida and E. coli.

Using your teeth as a tool

If you've ever tried to rip open a package with your teeth, you put more than your teeth's aesthetic appearance in jeopardy; you also transferred germs. Every time you do this, you'll not only be vulnerable to the germs you pick up from the package, but you'll be leaving behind some of your own for whomever needs to touch the wrapper after you did.

Coughing or sneezing into your hand

Think long and hard before you cough or sneeze into your hand. While this might seem like a common courtesy to those around you, you'd be much better off using a tissue or even the inside of your elbow. That's because you can easily pass germs around once they are on your hands. Even worse, if they happen to get into food, they can multiply and make a number of people sick. These germs can also be transferred to other objects, such as toys or handrails, where they can then make their way to the hands of other people.

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