News

Traces of E.Coli found on Central Line and Victoria Line seats

A recent study has revealed that seats on the Victoria Line contain concerning levels of E.coli bacteria, reports Cosmic Thapa

Leytonstone Station

Concerning amounts of pollution and E.coli bacteria have been found on the Central and Victoria lines. 

According to a recent study by Vision Direct, the Central Line contained the highest levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) on the tube network , with 125 micrograms per cubic metre noted (ug/m3). 

PM2.5 can lead to a range of skin and eye issues, and more serious health problems with long-term exposure. PM2.5 levels higher than 50 ug/m3 are deemed a concern to public health.

Exposure to particulate matter can penetrate the respiratory organs, enter the bloodstream and cause ‘toxic changes to the intraocular tissues of the eyes.

Through the collection of swabs of tube seats and poles, the study determined that the Victoria Line had “an exceptionally high colony-forming unit (CFU) of 16000 for E.coli”.


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Exposure to E.coli can breed bacterial infection, leading to conjunctivitis, or in more severe cases, cause corneal infections such as ulcers. There is also the potential to develop Endophthalmitis, and although rare, has the potential to cause irreversible sight loss.

Health experts recommend that commuters carry hand sanitiser, do not apply makeup on the tube, and switch to daily contact lenses to reduce the risk of microbial contamination. 

A TfL spokesperson said: “The tube is an extremely safe environment and our trains and stations are professionally cleaned throughout the day and night. Our cleaning teams use anti-viral cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact, providing a safe working environment for our colleagues and a safe travelling environment for our customers. 

“There is no cause for customers to worry about viruses and bacteria on the Tube or do anything different in terms of hygiene than they would in other public places.”


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