10.21.2010

Standford Study: Pathogens on Touchscreen Phones Are Health Hazard


The body of research about bacteria accumulation on cell phones is growing. Earlier this month a study  by Timothy Julian of Stanford University warned of the alarming rate of bacterial growth on touchscreen phones and the potential for their users to contract dangerous infections like staph, salmonella, E.coli, or influenza viruses. The study was published by The Journal of Applied Microbiology in July of this year.

Like any other cell phone or handheld device, a touchscreen is sure to gather germs, bacterial, oils and even makeup from daily use. Now PhD candidate Tim Julian's research shows touchscreen phones and devices such as the iPad are an even bigger breeding ground for germs, showing that if a virus is present on a touchscreen surface, at least 30% will get on your fingertips and can be easily transferred to your hands, face, and mouth. Not to mention if you do have a touchscreen, it’s probably a multimedia device like an iPhone or iPad that you’re sharing with friends, showing them videos, apps and all the cool things your phone can do. 

The Solution? 

It's a smart idea to take a moment from your digital lifestyle and attend to your personal hygiene. Now that cell phones are such an integral part of our daily lives, it makes sense to clean it once in a while and prevent germs from getting on the phone and ultimately, from reaching your mouth, face and hands during every call or text. Even the most mundane action like setting your phone down on a table at a coffee shop, or throwing it in your purse next to loose change and other item, means picking up germs that aren’t your own and are potentially hazardous to your health. 

Do you own a touchscreen phone or other mobile device? Are you finding fingerprints, oils and smudges all over it?  




iPhone photo via Urban Dirty / Pad photo via Simon Chow/Flickr

3 comments:

Markus said...

Most professional cleaning mechanisms use microfiber cloths, such as microfiber towels for photographic lenses. Microfiber texitiles absorb oily matter, such as fat and grease, as well as dust (due to its electrostatic properties), without being abrasive. An example of a microfiber cleaning tool is http://www.wipecoin.com which combines the cleaning properties of microfiber cloth with the protection of a hard case.

Anonymous said...

You have an error in your posting. The Stanford study by Mr. Julian et al. doesn't mention cellphones or bacteria. Rather, it refers to the ability of virus to transfer between glass and fingertips. You can access the abstract here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04814.x/abstract

Robert Helm said...

I am glad they make products like the Accu-Text Smart Touch! No more finger prints or touching other peoples germs...