Your handbag not only stores your essential items, but also loads of germs. Thought your handbag only stored your most essential items? Well, researchers say most women don’t realise the impact of their handbags on their health. Remember that your handbag travels with you wherever you go, gets placed in different places and pick up germs on the way. You’ll be surprised to know the health hazards that are lurking in the recesses of your precious bag.
Hazard 1: Water bottles
Carrying a water bottle may seem to be sensible, but constantly drinking from a plastic bottle is not good for your health. Experts say unsafe chemicals like phthalates, present in the plastic, can mix with the water over time. And this can lead to hormone imbalances and fertility problems. The longer you use a plastic bottle, the more the concentration of harmful chemicals that gets seeped into the water. Solution: Use a metal or glass bottle instead. While stainless steel or aluminium bottles will minimise the possibility of breakage, you can wrap glass bottles in a protective plastic or silicone bag.
Hazard 2: Your makeup
An average woman carries at least three to eight pieces of makeup in her handbag. And if one glance at your handbag reveals tons of lipgloss, mascaras, blushers, foundations, etc – it is time you sat down and discarded all the expired products. Makeup that is past its expiry date harbours bacteria. Mascaras, especially, should be used very carefully because they can harbour bacteria. The bacteria multiply in the dark, warm and moist environment of the mascara tube. Using this mascara can then lead to eye infections. Solution: Throw out your mascara every six months and other products once they are past their expiry date. Keep your makeup brushes clean by washing them regularly and avoid sharing makeup.
Hazard 3: Used tissues and handkerchiefs
How many times have you kept a used tissue or a hanky in your handbag, only to tell yourself that you will soon discard it? Studies say the viruses that cause the common cold and cough can survive for a long time on these tissues. And each time you put your hand inside your bag, you inadvertantly spread germs. Solution: After using a tissue, throw it out. If you keep a packet of tissues or wet wipes in your handbag, make sure it is sealed. As an added measure, wash your hands often and use a hand sanitiser.
Hazard 4: Cellphone
Studies say that our cellphones carry a host of bacteria. One study found that one out of every six phones were contaminated with faecal matter. Cellphones, unfortunately, travel with us wherever we go – all the while collecting harmful bacteria. Solution: Keep your cellphone in a cover or a pouch and clean it with a soft cloth once a week.
Hazard 5: Heavy handbag
Women are facing neck, back and shoulder problems due to the heavy handbags they lug around daily. While a big handbag may be fashionable, it also invites you to dump things in it. Solution: Either switch to a smaller bag or make it a habit to empty it out weekly.