Here’s a question – have you ever wondered exactly how dirty your mobile phone really is? Most people are aware of the fact that they are not the cleanest of objects, but in terms of how incredibly unhygienic they really are…well, the truth is pretty shocking to say the least!
Research suggests that there are approximately 25,000 germs coating every square inch of the average mobile phone. Which would be bad enough for any object, but is exponentially worse considering the fact that we spend most of our waking lives touching our mobile phones and pressing them against our faces.
As reported by Mashable, there’s an extraordinary list of dirty everyday objects that are in fact considerably cleaner than the phone in your pocket. Believe it or not, one of them is the average toilet seat. As for why, it all comes down to the way in which toilet seats and most other dirty items are cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Mobile phones on the other hand, ask yourself…when the did you last give yours a comprehensive clean?
Chances are, the answer is never!
“Nobody ever cleans or disinfects their phone, so the germs and bacteria just keep building up,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, in a recent interview with Menshealth.
“With the advent of touch-screen phones, the same part of the phone you touch with your fingertips is pressed right up against your face and mouth, upping your chances of infection” Gerba added.
Research has shown that no less than around 95% of all mobile phones are extensively contaminated with bacteria, which in many instances show strong resistance to antibiotics. When the hands of the owners of the mobile phones were also put under the microscope, it became apparent that much of the bacteria on the devices have been transferred from their hands, just as bacteria on their hands had been transferred from their mobile phones.
On the whole, somewhere in the region of 30% of the total bacteria on the mobile phones eventually found its way on to the hands of the owners. In this particular study, the researchers didn’t take into account how much of the bacteria ends up on the mobile phone user’s face – suffice to say, it’s probably a lot!
One of the biggest concerns shared by most experts is the way in which personal and shared mobile devices are still completely overlooked in terms of hygiene in both business and healthcare environments. When devices are used by multiple people, germ and bacteria populations grow immensely. But even when devices are used by only one individual, they still have the potential to lead to the transmission of harmful germs and bacteria from one individual to the next.
As for the solution – it’s simply a case of raising awareness of the importance of mobile device cleanliness, which can be as simple as using antibacterial wipes on a regular basis. Still, it may be some time before this particular policy is adopted comprehensively across every British workplace.