Think you’re alone on public transit? Think again.

Everyday we ride the bus or train to work or school or anywhere we need to go in our daily lives, we unknowingly ride with many, many tiny companions throughout the journey to our destination. Now, I’m not talking about any person following you on the train, I’m talking about the microorganisms present on nearly any surface imaginable in public transportation.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on a study done at Weill Cornell Medical College on the New York subway system to see where the microbes we leave behind on the subway come from, and the results are shocking. Around 32.2% of microbes found on surfaces such as seats, railing, and handles were from our intestines, with another 29% coming from our skin, and 20% coming from our genital areas! Every time you grab onto the surface of something in a mode of public transportation these are the microbes from your fellow passengers you might be touching.


As many of you are well aware though, besides the unsettling notion of holding onto someone’s left behind microbes that could come from anywhere on or even inside their body, not all microbes are bad! Microbes help build and strengthen the immune systems of most individuals when in contact with a reasonable amount. However, it is on some surfaces like the seats, railings, and handles in public transportation where riders are exposed to an immense amount of microbes for a decent length of time where the risk of contracting diseases like influenza becomes higher.

Bacteria are known to be great at evolving and can do it fairly rapidly which is why scientists are working to prevent places like public transportation of becoming breeding grounds for potentially harmful bacteria. In addition to the work of scientists in their own laboratories, WhiteCell Technologies is excited to be launching their self-sanitizing hanging hand grips for public transportation.

The self-sanitizing hanging hand grips features antimicrobial technology in order to effectively reduce microbial presence on the hand grips after each use. This way, you won’t have to worry if you’re touching any of your fellow rider’s intestinal, genital, or other  microbial remnants every time you grab onto a handle in public transit to hold yourself up.

Comment a public transportation system in your area you would like to see this technology implemented!