News & Reviews
Petrol Pump Pandemic: Coronavirus could be loitering on fuel pumps
Motorists in the United Kingdom are being warned to avoid the harrowing VIRUSES that loirter on petrol station fuel pumps.
The UK is currently being gripped by a veritable virus fever, as the Coronavirus panic threatens to become a pandemic while seasonal flu continues to plague the NHS.
Now experts are highlighting one of the everyday - but also little known - objects that could harbour a host of nasty bugs, and that’s fuel pump handles.
Isaac Fuente, of car leasing company Motor leasing, says there’s specific data that points to fuel pumps being potent virus carriers.
He says: “Most of us are aware of how viruses spread, it is common knowledge and we must understand the importance of washing hands regularly while avoiding touching your face, eyes and mouth."
"We must remember to use the plastic gloves that are provider at petrol pumps, to ensure we don't make contact with the pumps with our bare hands. Additionally, we should be carrying hand sanitiser for after we fill up."
In humans, the coronavirus typically causes a respiratory infection along with mild to severe flu-like symptoms.
Patients might also experience a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever.
And if you’ve got a weakened immune system, a viral infection can quickly progress to a life-threatening lower-respiratory infection, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
In 2011, the US personal hygiene brand Kimberly-Clark Corp swabbed hundreds of public surfaces across six major American cities.
And fuel pumps topped the list of most infectious objects, behind escalator rails, cash machine buttons and vending machines.
Dr Kelly Arehart, leader of Kimberly-Clark’s Healthy Workplace Project, said: “It comes down to the fact that nobody cleans the things that you’re going to touch on a daily basis.”
Some of the bacteria they discovered included ‘staphylococcus’, which can cause blood poisoning and skin infections, as well as ‘Bacillus’, which can cause terrible ailments like septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis.
A separate study was undertaken in 2016 by US travel website Busbud.
They found that, on average, petrol pumps boasted more than 11,000 times more germs than a household toilet.
Motor Leasing’s Mr Fuente adds: “Studies have shown that the Coronavirus can survive on surfaces, without a human host at all, for an average of four to five days.
“In some cases it can persist on surfaces, and remain infectious at room temperature, for up to nine days.
“I’d urge motorists to keep a pack of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser in their vehicle's so you can clean your hands - and any surfaces you might have touched - immediately after you fill up.
“Or at the very least, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when your journey is finished.”
This is not the first time petrol station fuel pumps have been singled-out for their pathogen-spreading properties.