Anorak News | Daily Mail Scare Story: Sucked Pens Give You MRSA But Prevent Cancer

Daily Mail Scare Story: Sucked Pens Give You MRSA But Prevent Cancer

by | 8th, November 2011

DAILY Mail Health Tuesday: This week’s news ways to die – your pen will give you MRSA but save you from cancer:

Page 14: ” Colonisaion by Stealth – Once, it took an invading army. Now Germany’s using economic rpessure to topples leaders and take over Europe sate by state, sats Simon Heffer”

Page 43: “Revealed, the hidden reason thousands of women are forgetful and depressed”

Reason: Caroline had eight kidney stones

And this week’s Star Scare:

Page 47: Lucy Elkins delivers:

“Don’t borrow that Biro – it could give you food poisoning”

A friend passes you their mobile phone to show you a picture of their child looking adorable or their favourite holiday beach. But be careful — they may be sharing more than just memories with you. In a study published last month, scientists swabbed 390 mobile phones and found that almost every one harboured bacteria.

And did you check under their fingernails?

Some had 1,000 types of germs, including the superbug MRSA and E. coli, which causes food poisoning, the researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.

Has anyone actually contracted food poisoning from a mobile phone?

Lucy has no time for details. She’s already moved on:

So what else should you think twice about sharing? Here are some of the everyday items it’s worth keeping to yourself:

You’d best stand up for this:


If desks aren’t clean then bugs can flourish — the norovirus, which causes the winter vomiting bug, can live for weeks if the conditions are right.


Towels may carry all kinds of germs, from the common cold to the virus that causes warts.


You’ve been to the lavatory and want to wash your hands. So you use the soap dispenser. However, rather than cleaning your hands, you may be adding to the dirt.

And what about that door on the way out, Lucy?


One issue is that toothbrushes are kept in the bathroom close to the toilet. Flushing may spray bacteria into the air, which can land on the toothbrush.


It’s unlikely the home remote that gets passed round the family is any better. A recent survey by Milton — the sterilising fluid for babies’ bottles — found 55 per cent of people admitted they had never cleaned their remote.


‘Can I borrow a pen?’ is a request you may even ask a stranger. However, bear in mind that one in five office workers admits to sucking the end of their pen, according to a survey of 1,000 in the U.S., so any bacteria circulating in their mouth will be deposited on the pen.

Accountants reportedly have the most bacteria on their pens — 2,400 compared to 670 for a lawyer.

What about bankers or MPs, Lucy. How many deadly bacteria on their pens?


They may look harmless, but a U.S. study found that in some parts of the country, 80 per cent of shopping trolley handles had traces of E. coli…

To be on the safe side, give the shopping trolley handle a wipe before you use it.


Don’t avoid cleaning your nails, but do give the brush a wash each day in disinfectant.


A child’s immune system is less robust than an adult’s, so if they do pick up an infection it can be far worse for them.
To be on the safe side, clean a restaurant high chair with a disinfectant wipe before your child uses it

Lucy may care to have a word with the Daily Mail Reporter, who on November 4th told readers:

Their developing immune systems are exposed to a greater variety of bacteria than those of their cleaner counterparts, so they can cope better when germs are encountered later in life. One in four of us now suffers from some kind of allergy, a figure that has risen in recent decades – as parents have become more worried about hygiene.

And also Pat Hagan, who in 2008, told Mail readers:

The idea that we’re too clean for our own good will be familiar to many. Scientists call it the hygiene hypothesis, and the theory is that far from benefiting our health, our obsession with cleanliness and hygiene is actually bad for us. It’s said that exposure to dirt and germs early in life ‘primes’ the immune system so it is prepared for any future threat – and that our constant wiping and sterilising of everything from kitchen work tops to children’s toys may be undermining this important mechanism.

Last year, UK consumers spent £610 million on household cleaning products, up 16 per cent over a five-year period, according to market research experts Mintel.

And the result of all this cleaning, according to proponents of the hygiene hypothesis, is an exponential growth in allergies.

The UK has one of the highest rates of allergy in the world – around 6,000 people a year need hospital treatment for potentially life-threatening reactions to animals, bee stings and foods such as peanuts.
Previously, researchers have focused mainly on allergies, asthma and eczema. Numerous studies show children raised on farms are less likely to get these diseases, either because they inhale all kinds of toxins or drink raw milk packed with bugs…

But now scientists believe the hygiene hypothesis could also explain the rising incidence of cancer.
Since the mid-Seventies, the number of people in the UK annually diagnosed with cancer has risen by 25 per cent, according to Cancer Research UK.

According to the hygiene hypothesis, repeated exposure to allergens, bacteria or certain toxins keeps the immune system on ‘red alert’, suppressing cancer cells in the earliest stages of development. Studies suggest that the more germs you get into your body, the less likely you are to get certain tumours.


Posted: 8th, November 2011 | In: Key Posts Comment | TrackBack | Permalink