The cell phone. Oh how did we ever make it before we had these little guys? These extensions of ourselves?
A recent study shows that Americans check their phones on average 47 times per day. That’s 47 times a day your hand is swiping, searching, liking…and 47 times a day you are interacting with tens of thousands of germs!
While research varies as to the exact amount of germs that are living on a typical cell phone, a recent study found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the phones of high school students surveyed.
And before you say, “Well, you’re talking teenagers here. I’m obviously way cleaner than a 16-year-old!”, read on my friend.
CBSnews.com shared the results of a survey called called “IT in the Toilet,” conducted by the marketing company 11Mark. In this study 1,000 Americans were asked about their bathroom habits (aren’t you glad you weren’t the surveyor on that one!).
Roughly 75% of those surveyed admitted to using their cell phones while in the bathroom.
And speaking of bathrooms, a study performed by Scientists at the University of Arizona found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats!! YUCK!
So what kinds of germs are most often found on phones?
Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center shares that E coli is a regular cell phone resident (see nasty note above about bathroom use) as well as Streptococcus, MRSA and numerous others. “Viruses can also spread on phones if one person is sick with strep throat or influenza and coughs on their cell phone before handing it off to a friend, ” she says.
Now that you know what all your dealing with, how do you combat this funk?
First, don’t take your phone into the bathroom. Emily Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health says, “Taking a cell phone into the bathroom and then leaving with it is kind of like going in, not washing your hands and then coming back out. It’s the same level of concern.”
Second, be sure to give you phone and phone case a regular cleaning. A mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water applied by using a microfiber cloth will do the trick. You can also buy an antimicrobial cover, which can help keep bacteria from sticking to the surface.
Note: be sure to use proper care when cleaning your phone. Avoid areas that may be damaged if wet.
Lastly, simply regularly washing your hands is a great way to lower the amount of germs hanging out on your phone.
So before the next time you text, type or take a call, be sure to give you cell phone a good cleaning. And for goodness sake stop taking your phone into the bathroom!