Your cellphone is a cesspool of disease-causing germs. Here’s how to protect your health.

Your Cellphone is Germier Than a Toilet Seat

In All Health Watch, Featured Article by INH Research1 Comment

You probably know that some scientists have linked cellphone radiation and brain tumors. Now there is another reason to treat your ever-present cellphone as an enemy of your health.

Tests show they hold more nasty bacteria, including E. coli, than a public toilet seat.1,2

Researchers in Britain took swabs from 90 devices, including 30 phones, 30 tablets, and 30 office keyboards. They found hazardous levels of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. That’s a particularly powerful germ that causes nasty skin infections and severe stomach illness.

To give you an idea, government health agencies state that any count higher than 20 units of Staphylococcus aureus is a potential risk. A typical office toilet seat has a count of less than 20. Meanwhile…

A cellphone they tested had 140. A computer keyboard contained 480 units. One iPad tested had 600.

If this amount of bacteria was found in the food industry, the employees would be removed from the workplace and retrained in basic hygiene.

The germs coating our smart devices are due to today’s busy lifestyles, the researchers said. People take their gadgets into bathrooms. Multitask in inappropriate places. And then rush off without properly washing their hands.

But you can fight back. There are some easy methods to limit the germs on your cellphone and other electronics.

With most devices, you must stay away from alcohol-based cleaners. They can damage touchscreens. Soaps can be harmful as well.

Here are cleaning methods that will keep you—and your devices—safe:3,4

  • Simply using a damp, soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down surfaces can reduce germs dramatically. Clean your devices once a week.
  • There are specially designed sanitizing wipes and sprays on the market for electronics that will not damage device screens. One brand is called “Whoosh!” It’s non-toxic, natural, and environmentally friendly.
  • Try a watered-down alcohol mixture for the non-screen areas of devices. Mix roughly three parts distilled water to alcohol. Then wipe your screen with a lint-free cloth.

Health experts say the best way to stop germs from reaching your devices is to simply keep your hands clean. Wash them regularly or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Stay away from soaps and sanitizers containing triclosan. It’s a chemical linked to liver and thyroid problems.5 INH recommends a line of natural sanitizers called CleanWell. It uses a thyme-based formula to kill germs.6

In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Publisher, INH Health Watch

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References:
1http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/news/how-clean-is-your-mobile-a-which-hygiene-investigation/?intcmp=HP.hero.large.1.wcutechdaily.tablethygiene.sept17
2http://www.webmd.com/parenting/d2n-stopping-germs-12/cleaning-disinfecting
3http://www.popsugar.com/tech/How-Properly-Clean-Your-Smartphone-22021396
4http://www.ewg.org/research/healthy-home-tips/tip-5-wash-those-hands-avoid-triclosan
5http://www.cleanwelltoday.com/our-products/hand-sanitizer/

Comments

  1. Interesting article, but I disagree with the research findings. There are too many variables that can influence the outcome of which surface has a higher germ count. To conclude that toilets cleaner than hand held electronic devices is a gross over generalization with no scientific proof. If I had to weigh touching the surface of my electronics versus touching my toilet seat, my preference is touching my electronic devices. Incidentally, I touch my electronics all the time, and never get sick. That chance, I will never take with my toilet seat. Aside of all the missing variables in the study, the most important is listing how frequently the toilets were cleaned, and when the testing was conducted along that timeline.

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