Refuting a 2009 Israeli hospital study that condemned its mezuzahs as bacteria-laden germ spreaders, a new study conducted by doctors at Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park has revealed that its religious door markers do not pose serious health threats when touched by Jews.
The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (http://nydn.us/1cySKmI) reports that the results of the study, which was headed up by Dr. Monica Ghitan and included the swabbing of over 100 mezuzahs throughout the hospital, are slated to be published in the Journal of Infection Control in the coming weeks.
“There were some microbes that grew, but none that can cause illness,” said Dr. Ghitan.
Researchers found after a 2009 study of 70 mezuzahs at Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Hospital that their mezuzahs contained a “significant bacteria load,” including some that tested positive for fecal organisms and fungi, but Dr. Ghitan said that wasn’t the case at Maimonides, most likely due to the differences in the way the respective hospitals maintain the markers.
At Assaf Harofeh, officials said the staff avoided cleaning mezuzahs for fear of causing harm to the religious marker, but at Maimonides, where the hospital has intentionally opted for aluminum mezuzahs, they are simply cleaned and disinfected by the staff as part of its daily routine.
“When the nurses wipe down the room, they also clean the mezuzah,” said Rabbi Nathan Friedman.