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Eewww! Guess What's In Your Bed?

May 6, 2008
We are currently in an age when we seem to be worried about every little thing. 'Are the preservatives and artificial colourings in our food making us ill?' 'Is the environment giving my child asthma?' 'Why is the occurrence of allergies and food related disorders at an all time high?'

But the simple fact is; we are only worried about the things that we see and hear about on the news - there are lots of other things that are not mentioned lurking in the crevices of our homes and offices.
I don't mean to gross you out or anything, but... eeewww, guess what's in your...

Bed - At any one time, you're sharing your mattress with anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites. These microscopic critters typically thrive even in the cleanest houses, lurking not just in the bed, but wherever there are dust-collecting fabrics and furniture. For many people this isn't a problem. But in sensitive individuals, the mite's decaying corpses and faeces can trigger allergies and asthma attacks... And you probably do a good job of feeding those dust mites. They feast on the 10 billion dead skin cells that flake off your body each day. Time to get the exfoliating scrub out!

Eye lashes - Demodex mites are tiny parasitic mites which live in or near hair follicles of mammals. Two species living on humans have been identified: Demodex folliculorum which is found in hair follicles, primarily those of the eyelashes and eyebrows, and the shorter Demodex brevis which lives in sebaceous glands connected to hair follicles.
The mite's digestive system is so efficient and results in so little waste that there is no excretory orifice. The mites can leave the hair follicles and slowly walk around on the skin, especially at night.
An estimated 96-98% of all people carry such mites---with up to 25 in each follicle, so each person can have a potentially huge population of mites living on their eyelashes.

Computer keyboard - Did you know that over 400 times more bacteria live on the average office desk than an average toilet seat! Telephones, desks, microwave-door handles and computer keyboards carry the most germs in the workplace.

Ketchup - Did you realise that in 100 grams of ketchup, there could be an average of 30 fruit fly eggs in it? Mmmmm.
Despite advances in pest control technology, it is still not possible to exclude all insects from our food supply. So on average, 100 grams of your canned sweet corn could contain 2 insect larvae, 100 grams of curry powder could contain 100 insect fragments and 10% of your coffee beans could be infested with tiny insects.

Lip gloss lid - this moist, warm environment can harbour millions of bacteria including Bacillus cereus that can infect you with diarrhoea, Staphylococcus (which causes conjunctivitis) and the Influenza virus which of course causes flu. If you lend your lip gloss to friends, the lid could even carry the herpes virus - nice.

This article was written by Maryse Mignott, for ExclusiveLondon.co.uk. Balance your work and social life by taking part in the London entertainment scene. For the hottest London events, restaurants, clubs, fashion boutiques and much more, visit www.exclusivelondon.co.uk
About the Author
Maryse Mignott is a communications executive and features writer for ExclusiveLondon.co.uk, a luxury London entertainment and lifestyle booking guide. To view more articles written by Maryse Mignott on London nightlife, London culture and London shopping, visit www.exclusivelondon.co.uk
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