While we’ve been told our cell phones are dirtier than the toilet, we haven’t had a clear visual of the types of bacteria that live in our favorite devices — until now.
Students studying bacteriology at the University of Surrey planted their phones with a “bacterial growth medium” in petri dishes, then waited to see what types of bacteria grew.
After three days, here’s what they saw…
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In most cases, the bacteria they found was mostly harmless, but on a number of occasions, they discovered a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, which leads to staph infection when exposed to an open wound. It is thought that 20% of people are long-term carriers of the bug, which exists in the nasal passages. While most people remain unharmed by it, infections can occur when skin is punctured or broken.
The average handset carries 18 times more potentially harmful germs than a flush handle in a men’s toilet, recent tests revealed.
An analysis of handsets found almost a quarter were so dirty that they had up to ten times an acceptable level of bacteria.
One of the phones in the test had such high levels of bacteria it could have given its owner a serious stomach upset.
Seriously, when was the last time you sterilized your phone?
Images via University of Surrey