If you walk in a puddle or if your foot – the left one we hope – encounters a poop, it is obvious that you will not cross the threshold of your house with your shoes. But the rest of the time, when nothing seems to have clung to your sole, do you pay attention?
However, a lot of people don’t. A team of environmental chemists has spent a decade examining the outdoor environment and the contaminants that enter our homes. Although their research on the question of keeping shoes on or taking them off when entering the house is far from over, they are already leaning towards this second option.
Whether we walk on dirt, grass or tar, all types of materials permeate our shoes. Microorganisms, in particular, worry researchers. These tiny, microscopic living things are drug-resistant pathogens, including germs that cause infectious diseases.
Considering that your shoes are nests of chemicals, microorganisms and carcinogenic toxins, present on the residue of asphalt roads, you will think twice before walking around in sneakers at home.
How often should you replace your sneakers?
A real risk?
By identifying harmful substances found in homes in thirty-five countries, chemists have come up with a fairly long list. On the ground and in the air, the team discovered antibiotic resistance genes, microplastics, perfluorinated chemicals (used in industrial, household and food packaging products), and even radioactive elements.
However, an article in the Wall Street Journal assures that shoes at home would not represent a real danger. The basis for this opinion is that these bacteria, especially Escherichia coli (E. coli) are so widely distributed that they are found everywhere. Nevertheless, this famous E. coli bacterium does not come from anything other than feces, assure the chemists. Whether it’s ours or those of animals, if humans are exposed to it at high levels, they can suffer from various diseases.
So for all these reasons, the researchers recommend not to wear shoes once the threshold of the door is crossed. “We all know that prevention is better than cure, and taking off your shoes at the door is basic and easy to do for many of us.”they advise.
And to avoid stumbling your toes on furniture, just opt for indoor shoes that will have no risk of encountering microorganisms. There is still a certain danger in keeping your house as clean as possible: the sterile house syndrome. A small dose of dirt is good for any home because it helps keep your immune system on track. But impregnating your floors and carpets with bacteria from outside is not a good idea.