How much bacteria lurks on your phone?

We have all heard the scare stories about bacteria on the phone and it’s likely you will have tried not to think about it too much. However, we are asking you to consider how often you use your phone. We use our phones on a daily basis, it touches our faces, lives in our bags/pockets and literally picks up bacteria everywhere we go. In fact, a large percentage of adults actually take their phone into the toilet with them!


Many bacteria’s are considered to be harmless, but depending on where your phone has been it could be harbouring harmful bacteria and viruses. Even to the untrained eye, you can visibly see smudgy oily marks on touch screen phones, some phones also have cracks and scratches. If you have a scratch on your phone it’s likely that there will be bacteria living within the scratch. This looks even worse if you look closer with a microscope, as you will notice that all phones have their own living organisms.


Just like every human being, each mobile phone tells a story. The bacteria on your phone could come from insects, coughs, sneezes and other bodily fluids. This isn’t necessarily going to be all your own either! For example, if you put your phone on the table of a café, then there could be bacteria from other people. When you then use your phone for its intended purpose, to speak on, you are spreading the bacteria even further to your face.


The average phone has ten times more bacteria on it than a toilet seat. This is largely because people are more reluctant to clean phones in case they get damaged as they are electronic devices. People are unsure what to use when cleaning the mobile, which leads to a build up of bacteria. Phones are often passed between people but never cleaned, so they get more and more of a bacteria build up.


A recent study tested thirty mobile phones and found that over a quarter of them harboured enough bacteria to give their owner a very serious stomach upset. The mobiles have ten times more than the acceptable levels of TVC bacteria, which indicates poor personal hygiene and can act as a breeding ground for viruses. Bacteria on the phone included viruses such as e.coli and salmonella which can cause unpleasant sickness.


Next time you pick up your phone, consider the bacteria which is likely to be lurking on it, it’s important to give your phone a wipe over once in a while to get rid of bacteria.

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