Tuesday November 3, 2015
Homes with small children, those toddlers and infants that spend most of their time on the floor, are encouraged to adopt a no shoe policy. And it is never too soon. Scientific studies, including those from the EPA, show the dangers that can enter your home from the soles of your shoes.
Not only do shoes track in bacteria, they can track in dirt, grime and toxins that can damage your floors and even stay in your carpet. For these reasons, more and more Denver homeowners are using a no shoe policy in their home.
So, what's on your shoes?
Bacteria that makes you sick
The University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science published a shoe study in March of 2009. In that study nine bacteria were identified as being commonly found on shoes and these bacteria are responsible for infections of the urinary tract, wound and bloodstream, intestines including diarrhea, respiratory, and meningitis.
"The vast majority of germs on our feet come from shoes, which possess dark, warm, moist environments for the growth of microbes." Dr. Daniel Howell, the "Barefoot Professor" at Liberty University biology professor
Pesticides on your carpet
Children who are crawling on the floor and placing everything in their mouths, could also be ingesting pesticides that have been tracked in on shoes. These pesticides can be in lawns, fields, and even turf and are linked to tumors, neurological disorders and even cancer.
Grit on your hardwood floors
Grit such as rocks, sand and even glass particles can be carried in and causing tiny scratches to your flooring. Dust from construction, asphalt and manufacturing could carry bacteria including those responsible for pneumonia, urinary tract infections, meningitis and diarrhea.
Tar on the ottoman
Used in parking lots and driveways, along with oil, grease and grime, tar can stain carpets and is also a known carcinogen. Each time you or your child touches carpet, or rests their head on an ottoman that has held shoes, they could potentially come in contact with toxins.
Lead on your upholstery
Lead, mercury and gas can be found in soil and tracked into our homes. The EPA states that lead and other heavy metals are linked to neurological problems and that children are more susceptible to the negative effects of lead.
Fecal matter everywhere
Yea, yuck! Walking into public restrooms or areas where dogs have been- the dog park, a lawn or even a sidewalk- means you likely have a level of fecal matter on your shoes. This is certainly not something you want on the same carpet your little one is playing on.
While some people feel the idea of having to remove their shoes to be inconvenient, there is good, solid reasons to do so. Whether or not you have a no shoe policy, it is a good idea to get at least an annual carpet cleaning, and even an upholstery cleaning by a professional, truck mounted steam cleaning company.