“We’re not walking through a sterile environment, so if you touch a surface there could be something on that. There are lots of environmental contaminants,” she said.
And when you flush the toilet, germs spead everywhere.
Additionally, in an interview with The Sun, university microbiologist Paul Matewele said, “Toilet seats, handles, sinks and taps are covered in germs such as E. coli, which can cause urinary tract infections and intestinal illness, C. diff which can result in diarrhea, and acinetobacter which can cause a contagious respiratory infection.”
Most frequent contaminants of mobile phones, according to the study:
- Micrococcus luteus
- Acinetobacter lwoffii
- Staphylococcus epidermidis
- Staphylococcus hominis
A previous study in South Korean teaching hospitals found touchscreen phones posed a significant risk factor for contamination by potentially pathogenic bacteria compared to button phones.
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However, the new research found no significant differences between the phone types.
The authors hypothesized that the high level of contamination of phones with potentially pathogenic bacteria may spread a role in spreading infection, but based on the results, this does not appear to be the case. Researchers called for future research on this subject.
Some limitations of the study include its small sample size and the inability to analyze bacterial contamination using culture and molecular methods on the same side of the phone at the same time.
To help keep your phones clean, try these tips from Whittier:
- Mix a solution with 60 percent water and 40 percent rubbing alcohol and use a cloth to clean your phone.
- Don't use liquid or spray cleaners.
- Use a can of compressed air to get rid of dirt and food crumbs on your buttons
- Wash hands before and after using the bathroom
More about the London study and its methodology at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.