Technology

Fri, 24 Aug, 2018Danielle McCarthy

Horrifying images reveal how your smartphone has more bacteria than a toilet seat

Horrifying images reveal how your smartphone has more bacteria than a toilet seat

Researches have shared horrifying images that show just how much bacteria, mould and yeast smartphones are covered in.

The new study found that some smartphones have up to ten times as much bacteria as a toilet seat, with screens being the most problematic area of the phone.

The other dirty areas include the back of the handset, the lock button and the home button, according to the study by Insurance2go.

The results come as more than a third of people in the UK admitted to never cleaning their phones, with just one in 20 cleaning their device once every six months.

The researchers took swabs from an iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy 8 and a Google Pixel to test for levels of bacteria, yeast and mould.

For all three brands, the screens reported the highest levels of bacteria, with 100 CFU (colony forming units) per cm2 for the Samsung Galaxy, 40 CFU for the iPhone and 12 CFU for the Google Pixel.

An office keyboard and mouse had 5 CFU per cm2 of yeast and bacteria, while a toilet seat and flush had 24 CFU.

The study also found that a beauty blender had 24 CFU per cm2 and a makeup brush had 0.4 CFU with high levels of mould.

Dr Shirin Lakhani from Elite Aesthetics warned that the high levels of germs on our phones can lead to skin problems.

“Our smartphones are a really big source of skin contamination and skin problems; namely acne,” she said.

“High concentrations of microscopic bacteria from your phone's screen mixed with oil and makeup from the skin, along with heat from the phone, breeds more bacteria. This can clog pores and often result in inflammation and acne.

“To combat these problems, use a headset when on the phone for a lengthy period of time and regularly wipe your smartphone with an alcohol wipe to remove as much bacteria as possible before using it.”

Commenting on the research, Gary Beeston from Insurance2Go added: “Our phones are never far from our sides; we take them everywhere with us. Therefore, it's inevitable that they'll pick up a few germs along the way.”

“In our experiment, we took the germs that are normally lurking on our phones invisibly and placed them in ideal growing conditions to help people see the potential hidden germs. 

“Perhaps we don't realise quite how infectious our phones can be considering we're holding them against our faces.”

How regularly do you clean your mobile phone? Let us know in the comments below. 

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