How dirty are magazines in the waiting room and are they making you sick?

PHOENIX - You're in your doctor's office reception area waiting for an appointment, reading a magazine. But before you got there, you stopped for gas, got some cash at the ATM, bought a soda from a vending machine and rode up the escalator to your appointment. What do all these things have in common with that magazine you're holding?  

There's more to these magazines than meets the eye.  Some health experts fear page turners in waiting rooms could spread both information and disease.  Just the thought of it can be sickening.

"That is a little disturbing," said one man.
 
But most people we talked with didn't seem troubled by the warning.
 
"I don't get sick that often, so I don't worry about it," said one woman.
 
"Pretty much everything people touch has germs on it," said another man.
 
We've all been there.  You walk into the waiting room.  The doctor's not ready to see you yet.  So, what do you do?  You pick up a magazine.  You sneeze.  You cough.  You lick your fingers and  flip through the pages until find an article you like.  Suddenly, you realize, this magazine's a year old!  How many other people have put their hands on this germy thing?
 
"Older magazines are definitely going to have a lot more disgusting stuff that I prefer not even to mention right now," one man said.
 
Still, it wasn't the idea of her magazine filled with germs that bothered one woman.
 
"If they look like they're older than a year, I probably don't bother to pick them up because it's not current information," she said.
 
So, you can wear surgical gloves when you read a magazine or you can resign yourself to the fact 
that you've already shared a doorknob with the other patients.
 
"I'm not one of those people that constantly washes his hands, but still, I'm still concerned about possibly catching whatever," one man said.
 
"It's not the end of the world," said another woman.  "It builds your immune system, so just carry some hand sanitizer, wash your hands before you eat.  I think you'll be fine."
 

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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