Hospital waiting rooms have never been known for their modernity. Caught in the limbo between your real life and your medical check-up, sitting in one for half an hour will make you feel as though you’re stuck in some kind of time vacuum.
Yet nowhere is this truer than in a hospital in Ayrshire – where magazines from as early as 1999 were found!
Titles including Bella and Chat were supposedly uncovered on tables in waiting areas.
According to national newspaper The Scotsman, “The titles are now so old that newborn babies from the era would now be old enough to be employed at the hospital.”
While hospitals have no official policy on magazines, many have questioned whether it’s wise to stock magazines that have inevitably accumulated germs over the years.
Are waiting room magazines a hygiene issue?
Speaking to The Scotsman, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner Dr Lisa Ackerley stated, “This does sound a bit strange, but you can pick up bugs from a magazine out last month as much as from an old Farmers’ Weekly.
“A lot of people are now wondering if you should have toys in hospitals to play with and I have noticed a disappearance of magazines in waiting rooms on the basis of hygiene.
“However long they have been there doesn’t rule out someone picking up last month’s Vogue and leaving organisms on it.
“The user has to take responsibility and wash their hands afterwards or use the gel in hospitals.
“The only upside of the age of the magazines is it might be a history lesson for some people.”
While this might be true, it raises one important issue – how much waste is festering in hospitals without patients’ knowledge?
It’s difficult to say – but with the correct waste disposal plan, the number of germs floating around your waiting areas will be minimal.
So if you’ve got old unhygienic junk littering your waiting area, chuck it – for everyone’s health.