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Do not worry too much if you're wearing your shoes inside




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A History of the New York Times addresses an interesting, albeit inferior, health issue: should you take off your shoes before entering? After talking with several scientists on this topic, Christopher Mele's article comes to a general conclusion: If it's all about health – that is, the tracking of germs – you can probably leave them. Their shoes definitely contain all kinds of bacteria from dog feces and the like, but it's all about the context. Harmful bacteria are present almost everywhere (the money in your pocket, kitchen sponges, on your fingers after using an ATM or gas station pump, etc.), and the threat their shoes pose is not that big in a big way. "For most healthy adults, this level of contamination is more of a coarse response than a health threat," says biomedical scientist Lisa Cuchara of Quinnipiac University.

Some exceptions: If a baby crawls around, or if someone in the house has allergies or a weakened immune system due to illness, it is advisable to take off their shoes. (Etiquette is a very different story, Mele observes. In some cultures, putting on shoes is disrespectful, so be sure to follow the host's wishes.) Dirty shoes became public attention for about a decade Study of microbiologist Charles Gerba from the University of Arizona. "It looks like we're going to get in much more than I thought," he sums up one of the takeaways after USA Today . On the subject of dogs, one of the scientists who interviewed Mele notes that when people worry about what they're pursuing, people just think about what dogs bring in the house. "[Read more germ stories.]

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