LONDON - Chances are if you knew the amount of bacteria that lives on your cell phone due to the amount of texting, e-mailing and phoning you do, you’d be alarmed.
According to the UK Telegraph, millions of British cell phones have been found to exceed the recommended acceptable levels of bacteria .
A study by Which? Magazine, found that swabs and analysis detected harmful, elevated levels of bacteria that are a result of poor hygiene .
Many people have adopted the habit of using hand sanitizers on a regular basis, but they may not think to give their cell phone a wipe with the same substance using a tissue at the same time.
Even though the bacteria may not be an immediate risk, it can become a breeding ground for more serious germs.
Unaware that bacteria can linger on a phone’s surface, the bacteria can spread to others when they look at photos on a friend’s cell.
“The levels of potentially harmful bacteria… were off the scale,” said hygiene expert Jim Francis.
In fact, NDTV reports that cell phones have 18 times more bacteria that toilet handles.
"What this shows is how easy it is to come into contact with bacteria,” said Which? researcher, Ceri Stanaway. “People see toilet flushes as being something dirty to touch but they have less bacteria than phones.”
"People need to be mindful of that by observing good hygiene themselves and among others who they pass the phone to when looking at photos, for example."
The research group advises that cell phones should be cleansed regularly with alcohol wipes, or if you have a baby wipe handy that will do the trick as well. Compressed air is a good option to remove debris in the tiny crevices you can't reach with a wipe.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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