Ah, the storied streets of the Upper East Side. You’ve got lush trees lining Park Avenue, the world’s most exclusive boutiques over on Madison, walls of Renaissance masters at The Met … and according to a new study, poop bacteria everywhere.
Yes, every New Yorker who instantly makes guests ruin their outfits by removing their fabulous footwear is probably in the right, as the Indoor and Built Environment journal has revealed there’s an average of 31,000 instances of fecal bacteria within 100 milliliters of water on city sidewalks. This results in “a translocation pathway via shoe soles and accumulation on indoor floor surfaces, particularly carpeted areas.” Lovely!
Is this poo problem unique to the Upper East Side? Probably not, but it’s where the study was conducted. Gothamist plunged through the report, revealing the findings of the scat study were courtesy of a student professor team at Marymount Manhattan College, located at 221 East 71st Street (between Second and Third avenues).
The sidewalk samples which showed high concentrations of enterococci bacteria were all taken in the immediate vicinity of the school’s campus, while fecal bacteria also ran rampant on the bottom of student shoes and carpets in particularly busy areas of the main building.
To obtain these liquid samples, researchers took to the streets with sterile pipettes, while they utilized clear tape to snag fecal matter from floors. The indoor findings suggest the appearance of approximately 22,000 enterococci per square meter of carpeted floor, and only 100 per square meter of uncarpeted floor. Basically, if you’re not committed to deep carpet cleaning, hardwood floors may be your saving grace.
While the presence of poop may be attributed to various culprits — canines being at the top of the list — experts suggest the widespread contamination doesn’t exactly translate to a higher risk of bacterial illness. “In most cases people are getting infected with E. coli from contaminated food, not from floors, sidewalks or soles of shoes,” a Brooklyn college biology professor told Gothamist.
Still, maybe do your friends and family a solid and leave the sneakers in the hall.