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Tracking in Dirt

03/13/2018 8:48 PM

We know that our shoes track in dirt and who knows what when we enter a home, hospital, office, etc. In Japan people remove their shoes when entering a home. This is to keep the interior of the home clean, but does it also cut down on harmful bacteria and germs? Hospitals in particular are places where cleanliness is paramount; still shoes are not removed. Health personnel must be aware of this, but nothing has been done. Is it because what we track in is just plain dirt and not necessarily bacterial laden? Operating room personnel where shoe covers, but is that to keep out bacteria or just plain dirt?

If harmful bacteria is present at ground level, I would propose a device, possibly ultra-violet installed at the entrances of buildings that would decontaminate the wearer's shoes. Similar devices exist for clean rooms to eliminate airborne dust. It creates a negative air pressure that pulls contaminants down and through a HEPA filter.

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#1

Re: Tracking in dirt

03/13/2018 9:03 PM

I like your shoe decontaminant idea, maybe going in and also going out of hospitals.

The dirt on my shoes from the woods or the garden or even the downtown street, I'm not worried about it unless there's fresh manure involved. I would expect life threatening dirt to come from the hospital itself well over 90 %, vs anything tracked in.

Dirt is basically good in my world view - the earth is dirt, we live on it and depend on it (but wait there's hydroponics. ) You can dump your shoes at the door, that is for housekeeping reasons more than 'sanitation'. IMO. Less sweeping or washing. The real dirt is with us always, and let us not forget that we need the good dirt, to keep out the bad by occupying the helpful microbes niche in closest proximity to ourselves.

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#2

Re: Tracking in dirt

03/13/2018 9:18 PM

Similar devices exist for clean rooms to eliminate airborne dust. It creates a negative air pressure that pulls contaminants down and through a HEPA filter.

Correction: Clean rooms are under a positive air pressure to keep contaminants from infiltrating from the outside into the clean room.

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#3

Re: Tracking in dirt

03/13/2018 9:24 PM

I would suspect that feet that have been inside of shoes (warm/wet) would have more germs than the outside of the shoes. Japanese have another pair of shoes that they wear inside, sort of like slippers. (They often provide "guest shoes" for guests, so I would think there might be some cross-contamination between guests.)

I think changing shoes is to prevent tracking in dirt and to keep the living area as tidy as possible. Bacteria are more likely to survive on or inside of the human body than on the outside of shoes.

Still, changing shoes is a good idea.

http://japanthink.blogspot.com/2009/04/custom-comment-shoes-in-japan.html

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#4

Re: Tracking in dirt

03/14/2018 12:17 AM

By far, the biggest threat to health is hospitals themselves. Diseases such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and others are more of a problem than dirt.

Some medical facilities do have air curtains which may help, but may also dishevel one's hair. If the care about such things.

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#5

Re: Tracking in dirt

03/14/2018 4:48 AM

<...This is to keep the interior of the home clean...does it also cut down on harmful bacteria and germs?...>

The answer to the question in the second part of the sentence is contained within the first part.

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#6

Re: Tracking in Dirt

03/14/2018 2:58 PM

Here's one to consider, "Why Amish kids are less likely to get asthma."

Forget Fluffy and Fido. Bessie the cow just might make a healthier pet.

"That idea stems from new research in two farming-based religious communities that shun modern ways but have dramatically different childhood asthma rates."

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#7

Re: Tracking in Dirt

03/14/2018 3:39 PM

Growing up in New York City in the 30's to the 50's, hygiene was not practiced as much as it is today due to more modern and available conveniences available; but it seems to me there was a lot less diseases going around back then. As kids, we would eat without washing our hands and it didn't seem to make us sick. Maybe it could be we had developed a more robust immune system. Every kid got measles and chicken pox, but nothing more than that, Today kids get vaccinated against those childhood diseases and maybe that weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to new strains.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Tracking in Dirt

03/14/2018 6:06 PM

Agreed. Look at how kids in other countries live.

They get dirty, climb trees and drink from streams. Probably eat peanuts and drink raw milk too.

I drank from the same stream the cows did and they were not particular about where they were when the urge came to them to relieve themselves.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Tracking in Dirt

03/15/2018 11:39 PM

You wouldn't happen to have a picture of you drinking from the same stream as the cow while he was doing his business,,on second thought, nix the picture. A loosely word description should suffice.

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#9

Re: Tracking in Dirt

03/14/2018 10:58 PM

When you smell something when you're off with your shoes, that tells you there's bacteria in there or some dead nails may be. You'd better not get off of it, its ok to wear shoes all the time unlike in Japan.

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