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Re: [teacherartexchange] germs and sponges


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 22 2005 - 08:06:06 PDT

My thoughts, exactly, Michal. The cleanser corporations have made us
terrified of "germs." I have an idea it started with the first hysteria
about HIV. Anti-bacterial products do NOT protect against viruses, and
it's those that cause the colds and flu we're constantly exposed to.
Plain soap and water work just fine, if you use them. I didn't see the
report mentioned, but I have never allowed students to touch my food at
any time. If I had something to share, I would give them a handful or
put it on individual paper towels. Where I used to teach, hepatits was
endemic, and several teachers got infected by allowing students to reach
into their bag of popcorn or nuts.

For what it's worth, I bought a big bag of "shop towels," which start
out about 12" square,at Costco years ago to use in my classroom, and
I've still got plenty left. When I taught HS, next to the Food Sciences
room, the teacher let me wash my towels and aprons in her machine; I
just supplied the powder. At the MS, the custodian would wash them for
me. Also, a nurse friend gave me some o.r. towels--cleaned--which are
bigger and thicker and last forever.


M.Austin wrote:

> I saw that one too, and the big thing I remember is the candy bowl,
> and thinking the woman was nuts to share unwrapped candy like that to
> begin with! While I believe a certain level of cleanliness is
> important, I worry that we are "cleaning" immune system into
> non-existance. With all the anti-bacterial products around our
> children never have a chance to get dirty, to build up their immune
> system. For your sponges (I do the same thing at the high school), I
> suggest you go to your dollar store and buy a package a month or every
> two weeks, and then not worry about it. As long as your students share
> chairs (think of the backs), tables, supplies, well - the germs are
> there anyways.

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