Are you reading this article on your mobile at this second? After you’re done, you may want to wash your hands–and give that stanky smartphone a wipe. According to the Wall Street Journal, that thing is coated in potentially-harmful bacteria and germs…including those from human poo. Got that alcohol-based cleansing wipe ready?
The WSJ asked a lab to test eight phones in their Chicago office. None of them turned up scary bugs like staph or e. Coli–but all of them tested positive for coliform bacteria, which is commonly used as an indicator of sanitation. High levels of coliform bacteria are almost always linked to fecal pathogens.
Yup. Poop on smartphones.
But it’s not that surprising–most of us are pretty bonded to our various devices, toting them with us in pockets and purses all day long. I usually keep mine in the back pocket of my denims, which means, to keep it from falling in the toilet when I use the restroom, I’ve set it on what I now realize to be some pretty questionable surface (back of a bar toilet, anyone?). And while I’m a pretty diligent hand-washer, my phone is such a staple in my life that I never even think about it as a potential contaminent.
Then, there’s the added danger which comes with actually using a smartphone as a telephone. When the thing is pressed to your face, not only is it transmitting germs that can cause acne, it is also putting all of that bacteria perilously close to the nose, mouth, and eyes. And that can lead to “flu, pinkeye or diarrhea,” according to the WSJ‘s doctor source.
Of course, it’s not that hard to keep your phone clean–you just have to actually think to do it. And you don’t even need expensive antimicrobial wipes. You can use household items, like rubbing alcohol or even apple cider vinegar to effectively, safely kill germs and other pathogens, without spending a lot of money or using risky chemicals.
Image: Andresr via Shutterstock