Cell phones: Dirtier than your toilet seat?

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News station KARE 11 from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota recently reported on an experiment news crew members performed regarding the cleanliness of cell phones. Their verdict? Yuck! They're filthy. In fact, they easily are capable of carrying more bacteria than that which can be found on a bathroom door or toilet seat.

Ten employees, including some of the reporters, volunteered to have their phones swabbed for Petri dish cultures. While no extremely dangerous bacteria was found after two days of cultivation, one sample tested positive for coliform. Interesting as well was what surface gathered the most bacteria. While one person's cell phone only grew 90 colony forming units, another person's phone produced 5,000 colony forming units. One other phone's culture cultivated 8,900! The difference? The phones with covers carried much, much more bacteria. The phone that only produce 90 units was bare. While those soft, spongy covers feel nice and protect the phone, their surfaces are porous and are excellent breeding grounds for germs.

What about the bathrooms? A local gym's bathroom was swabbed, both its door and toilet seats. In comparison to the phones, the door cultivated 940 colony forming units, and the toilet seat cultivated 6,100. Why is this, you might ask? Why would a toilet seat have less bacteria than a dirty cell phone? It might be because we do consider our toilet seats to be gross, and so we routinely clean them. Even so, we don't put our toilet seats up to our ears multiple times a day; do yourself a favor during flu season -- take an antibacterial wipe to your cell phone.

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4 Comments on "Cell phones: Dirtier than your toilet seat?"

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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I came close to dying from bacterial pneumonia a few years back and although it didn't convert me to a militant germaphobe it did cause me to adopt many precautionary measures.

One of the groceries I shop in offers sanitizing wipes at the door that can be used to clean the hand hold area of the shopping carts. I always use one.

I very seldom go anywhere without my wife and she always carries a small container of hand-sanitizer in her purse. If we eat in a buffet style restaurant we generally sanitize our paws before we start eating. You never know how many nose picking asshole scratchers have recently served themselves with the ladles, spoons, and tongs.

A habit I developed after my hospital stay; the first thing I do when returning home after venturing out into the world of germs and viruses is head for the sink and wash my hands thoroughly.

I go the VA for tests, and doctor's appointments several times each year. They have wall-racks with hand-sanitizer dispensers scattered around the facility and I use them often.

I have a bad habit of eating at my PC so when I vacuum the crumbs of possum breading out of my keyboard I also polish the keys with an alcohol pad. Alcohol pads are small enough to clean the sides as well as the tops of the keys.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

runninggrrl2's picture
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Um, pretty much everything is dirtier than a toilet seat. Think about it--how many germs are you getting on the back of your thighs and butt if they're totally encased in pants and underwear all day? Meanwhile--your hands touch all sorts of nasty things all day long. I've given up on trying to sanitize everything. I just wash my hands a lot and that usually takes care of most of the nastiness.

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

Anonymous's picture
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Daphne said "... take an antibacterial wipe to your cell phone..."

You might consider taking an antibacterial wipe to your asshole also!

the thin brown line's picture
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good one Anonymous!

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.