You might want to reconsider…
A few minutes scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts whilst in the bathroom could potentially lead to a large accumulation of germs on your phone…and eventually your face.
According to a recent research study that was published in the journal “Germs” to determine how much bacterial contamination is on the cell phones of teenagers today, scientists from London’s Metropolitan University analyzed 27 cell phones for a variety of bacteria. The contact plate method and microbial identification method using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer were used for culture studies.
Their study showed a high level contamination with potentially pathogenic bacteria to be common, and have concluded that this may be a contributing factor in the spread of infectious agents in the community.
Most frequent contaminants of mobile phones, according to the study:
• Micrococcus luteus
• Acinetobacter lwoffii
• Staphylococcus epidermidi
• Staphylococcus hominis
Although research has varied tremendously on just how many germs are crawling on the average cell phone, most scientists have concurred that a certain amount of bacteria is present. Another recent study found more than 17 000 bacterial gene copies on the cell phones of high school students. Furthermore scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones can carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
Whilst it is a well known fact that human skin is naturally covered in microbes that don’t usually have any negative health consequences, the natural bacteria plus the oils on your hands, get passed on to your cell phone every time you check a text, send an email or browse on your social media accounts.
Most of the organisms found on cell phones are not pathogens that will make you sick, however some bacteria should concern you. “We’re not walking through a sterile environment, so if you touch a surface there could be something on that," says Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center. "There are lots of environmental contaminants."
When you flush the toilet, germs spread everywhere, especially if the lid on the toilet seat was not closed prior to flushing. This in itself helps to spread viruses and bacteria.
During 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. difficile which can result in diarrhea, and Acinetobacter which can cause a contagious respiratory infection.”
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. However, this new research has found no major differences between the various phone types.
The bottom line remains, in order to help limit the spread of bacteria and viruses, it might be wise to rather leave your phone in your pocket and opt for a few minutes of quiet reflection instead…
If you simply cannot handle not looking at your phone, get our revolutionary Sprinkle Spray Sanitizer/Deodorizer for your home or office bathroom. It is a non-toxic disinfectant spray that helps to kill bacteria that creates the odor and further helps to protect your family from cross infection…and as a side note, its fragrance is simply irresistable. :)
Visit www.sprinklespray.co.za for more information.