atm machine
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ATM Buttons

If you’re not careful, you might pick up more than cash at the ATM. Those buttons have more gunk on them than most public-bathroom doorknobs. (The same goes for vending-machine buttons, bus armrests, and escalator handrails.) After testing 38 ATMs in downtown Taipei, Chinese researchers recently found that each key contained, on average, 1,200 germs. “ATMs aren’t frequently cleaned, and they are regularly touched -- a perfect combination for a lot of germs,” environmental microbologist Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., says.

Reduce the risk: “Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you and rub it on your hands after a visit to the ATM,” Reynolds suggests. Also, be sure to do it after you handle money. “Paper money actually carries quite a few germs, too.”

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