If you thought the restroom is the filthiest place at your office, think again: here are some places that could easily be crowned as the kingdoms of germs.

6 dirtiest places at your officePhoto: Kimberly-Clark Professional

A new study led by American researchers uncovers the most contaminated places at the office. And as we said before, the restroom is not even in the top three.

Microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona collaborated with a team of hygienists from the Kimberly-Clark Professional Healthy Workplace Project to find out what are the germs “hot spots”. After collecting 5,000 swabs from several office buildings where over 3,000 employees come every day, the team of researchers has made a list of the most germ-infected places.

The Top 6 dirtiest places in an office building is led by the break room sink faucet (tap) handles, which is contaminated almost 75%. The microwave door handles are also at high germ risk (48%), while 27% of the keyboards are also filled with germs. The top also includes the refrigerator door handles, the buttons of the water fountains and the buttons of the vending machines.

Dr. Gerba concluded: “People are aware of the risk of germs in the restroom, but areas like break rooms have not received the same degree of attention.” He believes the new study will offer the employees a new perspective regarding their personal hygiene, as well as the maintenance of the apparel in their working environment. “By washing, wiping and sanitizing, employees can reduce their rates of cold, flu and stomach illness by up to 80%,” Dr. Gerba added.