Cell Phone Hygiene a Concern for Health Researchers

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Last updated April 12, 2019

Cell phone users tend to be highly aware of some of the dangers associated with their handheld devices, but entirely oblivious to others.  For example, most cell phones users have given some thought to data security.  They are aware that phones can be hacked and they are certain they do not want that to happen to them.  To this end, they protect access to the phone by using a PIN or password to control who can get past the welcome screen.

An area of concern that people should have and probably do not, however, is that of simple hygiene.  A recent study performed by health research staff at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has come to some rather surprising conclusions.  They examined hundreds of phones used in 12 different UK cities and discovered that the vast majority of them were contaminated with some form of bacteria.  Just how much is a vast majority, you ask? 92 per cent or more than eight phones out of every nine.

The bacteria species found on most of the phones were not fecal in nature, but in an astounding 16 per cent of cases, it actually was.  This indicates that millions of cell phone users are most probably not properly washing their hands after they use the bathroom.  Keep in mind, though, that washing your hands is probably not enough.  You should also have a paper towel in your hand when you open the door to the bathroom so that you can avoid touching a surface that may have been contaminated by someone else who did not bother to wash his or her hands.