Car sickness? Blame the bacteria

September 16, 2008 at 10:30 am 1 comment

According to a recent study commissioned by, the typical car has 283 different types of bacteria present in every square centimeter.

Microbiologists from Britain’s Aston University found the dirtiest part of the vehicle was the gear stick, home to 356 germs on a square centimeter, while one car boot in a random survey of 25 cars had 850 bacteria in a square centimeter.

“Whilst most of the bacteria we’ve found are unlikely to cause serious health problems, some cars, particularly those which regularly carry children and animals, play host to potentially harmful germs,” said Anthony Hilton, director of Biology and Biomedical Science, at Aston University.

“People would be horrified at the thought of eating off their toilet seat, but few realize eating off their car dashboard is just as likely to make them sick,” he added in a statement.

When quizzed about the most peculiar items drivers had found in their car, a whole host of unusual and downright unpleasant objects were revealed, including:

Top 5 – insects, animals and excrement

Mice (dead and alive)
Dog poo
The neighbour’s cat
Body parts from a dead seagull which a dog had smuggled in
Maggots for fishing that were forgotten about and didn’t die, but reproduced and grew

Top 5 – food

A joint of beef in the boot, which had fallen out of shopping bags weeks ago
A 3 year old, green sandwich
A baby’s bottle under a seat, which had been there for at least 6 months
A very old chicken nugget, found lodged under a childs car seat
A Cadburys Wispa, which had been left long before the re-launch

Top 5 – miscellaneous

A pair of knickers belonging to a husbands ex girlfriend
A used condom in a just-bought second-hand car
Childs vomit in a door pocket, which had gone unnoticed for days
The results of a toddler picking his nose
Mushrooms growing in the floor

Time to get the inside of your car cleaned……

Entry filed under: Cars, Safety. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Used cars by owner  |  September 17, 2008 at 12:37 am

    People tend to focus on the price when hunting a second hand car (at least I do), but seldom pay attention to the potential hazard. Everyone had experience with smelly cars but who seriously cares? When you’ve a toddler it will be crucial. Take good care of your car, it will take of your family.


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