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Touchscreen Cell Phones Are Really, Really Dirty

Smartphones might be great for keeping up with email and your various different social networking pages while you're on the go, but damn, those touchscreens are wicked dirty.

If you're in the habit of bringing your smartphone to the toilet with you, you probably know that it's not that clean. But did you know that the average mobile phone has 18 times the amount of germs on a toilet flush handle? Yeah, and I bet you don’t use your foot to send text messages in public.

The Sacramento Bee cites figures from a study in Britain in reporting the toilet handle fact but reminds us that we have more to worry about now that touchscreen phones are so widely available. Timothy Julian, a doctoral student from Standford University, warns smartphone owners to not let anyone else touch their phone because they might catch something as a result.

"If you're sharing the device, then you're sharing your influenza with someone else who touches it," Julian, doctoral student and co-author of a study on the spread of viruses, told the Sacramento Bee.

"If you put virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips," he revealed. In turn, "a fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth or nose," the mostly likely entrance ways for infection.

Guess we should all be invest in some hand sanitizer.

Source: Sacramento Bee via Engadget

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • applegetsmelaid
    I heard that hand sanitizer makes your balls shrink. We're all screwed either way.
  • Mr Pizza
    LIES! XD
  • speedemon
    Right.. because we never touched our old Nokia startreck phaser phones.

    *all cellphones are really, really dirty*
  • THEfog101
    Money is even worse, its like a herpes pass-the-parcel.
  • mrmez
    FFS, toughen up people. We are humans, we live in the world, not in bubbles.

    We seem to have survived this far pretty damn well without flu shots or hand sanitizer. Im sure we can survive a dirty phone.

    We survived as cave men, eating and sleeping in our own filth. Our immune systems are like our bodies. Train them well and they will be tough as nails. Wrap them in cotton wool and they will fall over in a stiff breeze.
  • liveonc
    I've got it! Germ killing screen protectors! Oh wait, they give your face an allergic reaction. So it's either pink cheeks or dirty screens... ;-)
  • We shouldn't be too worried, our hands are protected by dead skin cells. The only time you should be worried is when you get a cut and rub it all over your HIV infected iphone (or that very dirty toilet bowl).
  • g00ey
    I don't get it; what is it that makes a touch screen phone more infested with germs than a regular cell phone? At least a touch screen phone is easier to clean.
  • sacre
    OMG you mean..... The world is a dirty place?!

    Really, who cares. Everything is covered in Bacteria, etc because thats life. Our body contains nearly 10x more bacteria than our actual cells! But this is a Symbiotic relationship, without bacteria we'd be dead.

    This is why we have immune systems, and all other defensese... To get hogwild and wash and disinfect EVERYTHING multiple times a day because you're afraid you're actually going to cause more trouble than harm over time.
    I can hear Steve Jobs now: "Don't touch it like that!"