Talking On A Cell Phone Like 'Placing Your Face On A Toilet Bowl'

from the yeah,-but-is-your-toilet-3G? dept

A new study checked out the mobile phones of 200 doctors and nurses, and found that 95 percent of them were contaminated with bacteria, while 1 in 8 had the MRSA staph bug. These findings pretty much echo those of previous studies, and like those earlier efforts, this one doesn’t really go into exactly how dangerous these bacteria-laden handsets are. Unless, of course, you count the comments by the head of a “microbial sterilisation systems company” — who in no way has a dog in this hunt — that “holding your phone to your mouth is as dangerous as placing your face on a toilet bowl.” Somehow, that comment doesn’t seem too convincing, even though it’s fairly colorful. If handsets were really portable mongers of bacteria-based death, one would think these medical studies might make that clear, and doctors and hospitals would take some steps to address the problem.

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Comments on “Talking On A Cell Phone Like 'Placing Your Face On A Toilet Bowl'”

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42 Comments
TheStupidOne says:

Re: Re: Re:

Is your crotch dirtier than your stomach? legs? feet? armpits? nose? hair? keyboard???

I don’t know about the rest of you but i wash my crotch at least once a day … when was the last time you washed your keyboard?

To be honest i actually did wash mine once when I spilled a highly alcoholic drink on it and killed everything growing in it. But then the alcohol evaporated and the sugars in the drink encouraged much more to grow.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anything exposed to the environment is contaminated. Why would anyone thing a cell phone is any different? Try a swab test on your pager, TV remote , car door remote, garage door opener, the pen in your shirt pocket, your wallet, your credit cards, or any one of a thousand every day items. A cell phone is no more risky a vector than any of those items.

Terry Robinson says:

Toilet Bowls bad comparison for dirty

Toilet bowls are regularly cleaned with strong disinfectants in almost any health environment. Several other surfaces we assume are clean like ice machines and desk surfaces regularly show more bacteria than toilet bowls.

Additionally, the registered bacteria is well below what is considered to be enough to cause an infection to anyone which is conveniently overlooked.

Quite the fearmongering, techdirt is too good a publication to make the same omissions as other media outlets.

JB says:

A Quick Wipe

I don’t remember where I read it, but I remember it being stated that wiping the toilet seat off with some toilet paper is more effective at reducing bacterial contact than using those paper covers. I think the results were a 90% reduction in bacteria from simply wiping the seat. So, why not just quickly wipe the cell phone on your shirt or pants. I know I tend to wipe off the screen on my phone quite regularly since it collects oils from being in contact with my face, ear and hair.

Lisa (user link) says:

Our dirty cell phones

While this story just came out, I read two years ago how dirty and germ infested our cell phones were! About a year ago, I found a product on the Internet that makes wipes just for cell phones. The company is called Wireless Wipes.
The wipes dry really fast and I love the green tea cusumber smell. Try them out! I use them all the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

YES!!! THANK YOU!!! SOMEBODY WHO GETS IT!!! People, think about it, germs are everywhere. Part of the reason we get sick so easy these days is because everybody is so obsessed with making everything too clean. When we don’t get exposed to germs, our bodies don’t get a chance to form antibodies which protect against infectious diseases. By keeping everything so sterile, it actually makes it very easy for us to get sick. That’s not to say that cleanliness isn’t important, but there is a balance that needs to be maintained. I can understand, however, that it is an issue for discussion in the realm of hospitals, which is one place where cleanliness is essential for patient health. Beyond that, get over it, germs are everywhere 24×7.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

MSRA infected cellphones

A new study checked out the mobile phones of 200 doctors and nurses, and found that 95 percent of them were contaminated with bacteria, while 1 in 8 had the MRSA staph bug.

1. The term “contaminated with bacteria” is meaningless – we would die without some bacteria; if they mean “harmful” they need to say that.
2. So, 1 in 8 hospital personnel are patients? I don’t think so.

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