Which PUV in Manila is as dirty as a trash bin?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2013 08:35 PM | Updated as of May 24 2013 08:52 PM

The bus is the dirtiest of all public utility vehicles traversing EDSA. File Photo

MANILA, Philippines-- There’s a moving virus-carrying machine in Metro Manila – the public bus.

Based on a study by Procter and Gamble (P&G), the bus is the dirtiest of all public utility vehicles traversing EDSA, with contamination levels higher than that of a trash bin.

The P&G Germ Academy used a luminometer, a device that measures adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacteria, yeast and mold cells.

Readings are measured in RLU (relative light units). A reading of 500 and below means that the item surface is clean; 501-999 means that caution is needed; while 1,000 and above means it is dirty. The higher the reading, the more contamination is present.

Microorganisms such as the influenza virus (cold and flu), salmonella bacteria (typhoid fever and diarrhea), and adenovirus (common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis) can possibly come in contact with the commuters, it warned.

The test showed that buses have at least 3,815 RLU.

P&G made a similar study on regular “dirty” items such as the trash bin cover, which revealed a 2, 612 RLU contamination level. The others tested were: the living room floor (1,609), the toilet bowl rim (711) and dirty socks (670).

But it was not just buses that were dirtier than trash bin covers.

The second dirtiest public transport is the tricycle, with 3,683 RLU. Jeepneys are next with 2,869 RLU.

Next are taxis with 1,583 RLU. Shuttles, mostly used by commuters living outside Metro Manila to travel back and forth to the city, registered 963 RLU.

Interestingly, the only one that passed the test is the MRT, with 465 RLU.

“The contamination levels of these PUVs are affected by different factors such as air pollution, human contact, and frequency of cleaning practices by the operators or owners, among others,” the firm said.

P&G advised commuters to always wash their hands or take showers to avoid contamination.

“P&G is continuously working to arm Filipino households with relevant information and reliable products to help them maintain a healthy, clean and germ-free environment. Safety comes from a good combination of awareness and action, which is why P&G encourages knowledge and adoption of proper hygienic behaviors that will keep people safe everywhere they go,” the firm said.