Tuesday Nov 01 2022
Web Desk

Study shows cell phones are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat

Web Desk
A young man using a smartphone on a public train somwehere in Singapore.— Unsplash
A young man using a smartphone on a public train somwehere in Singapore.— Unsplash

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found that cell phone screens are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat.

Cell phones are with us everywhere we go from public commutes to the dinner table. Therefore, they are grosser than we would like to imagine.

Since our hands are in touch with a lot of dirty things in the environment, our phones get dirty as well. Even if we wash our hands, the bacteria transferred to the small device in our pockets stay there.

A survey by Deloitte revealed that Americans check their phones approximately 47 times a day. This means a plethora of germs moves from our fingertips to the screens.

Emily Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said that people carry phones even in situations where they would wash their hands like while eating, reported Time.

The University of Arizona authors found that over 17,000 bacterial gene copies reside on the phones of high school students.

There are naturally many microbes on the human skin. These are usually the kind of microorganisms that do not have any negative health consequences. Therefore, Martin said that the pathogens found on phones are usually those that will not make people sick.

However, some bacteria are concerning since of course none of us is walking in a sterile environment, Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center was quoted as saying by Time.

“There are lots of environmental contaminants.”

Studies have shown the presence of dangerous pathogens like MRSA, Streptococcus and even E. coli on cell phones. Whittier explained the presence of these microbes will not necessarily make you sick but people must be careful and not let them enter their bodies.

Other than bacteria, viruses can spread on devices as well if the user has a couple of influenzas.

Experts recommend not using the phone in the toilet because when the toilet flushes, germs spread everywhere. The devices should regularly be cleaned with a soft microfibre cloth. For a deep clean routine, a mixture of 40% rubbing alcohol and 60% water can help.

Liquid and spray cleaners can damage the phone, they warned.