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Learn about the bacteria on a NYC subway.
What kinds of bacteria are living in the subway systems of New York City?
Microbiologists from the University of Colorado in Boulder investigated the different kinds of microscopic life that live in the air of New York City subway stations.
They analyzed air samples from Grand Central, Times Square, Union Square and four other sites including an abandoned station at City Hall, along with air samples from the street level at Union Square and a mezzanine at Grand Central for comparison.
They found about one billion bacteria in each of the samples, but none of them are a threat to human health.
This was the biggest survey of microbes in a public subway system, and can be used to set the standard for normal air quality in the case of a bioterrorism attack, or flooding.
One way of keeping yourself safe from germs on the subway is by using a disposable plastic bag called a MetroMitt to cover your hand while you ride the train.
In Asia it is common to see people wearing surgical masks on public transportation.