Your smartphone may be dirtier than you think


  • Smartphones
  • Friday, 07 Feb 2020

Vital Vio said mobile devices could host more bacteria that someone's household bathroom. — TNS

When was the last time you cleaned your smartphone? A recent study has found that mobile devices may pose the biggest risk for spreading disease.

Vital Vio, a company that makes antibacterial LED lights, published the survey titled The Dirty Truth, which polled 1,200 US residents over 18 years old about their daily cleaning habits, the ways they protect themselves from disease while traveling and mobile device cleaning routines.

According to the survey, a majority of people admit to using their phone in the bathroom (88%), while cooking (89%) and while using public transit (80%). Nearly half of those polled (46%) said they will bring their phones into a public restroom every time they go. Smartphone devices are exposed to everything from strep, E. Coli, strains of staph and more, the study says.

"Gaps in American cleaning habits aren't just creating dirtier spaces, they are putting our families and communities at greater risk of getting sick," said Colleen Costello, CEO of Vital Vio, in a news release. "The Dirty Truth survey spotlights that most people are blissfully unaware of the bacterial risks they are taking, especially when it comes to the mobile devices they touch and use for hours a day."

And Americans aren't making sure their smartphones are clean, despite these dirty places.

The survey found that one in four people, or 23%, have never cleaned or wiped down their phone. When their hands are full, two in five people, or 41%, said they wouldn't hesitate to put their phone in their mouth.

Vital Vio said mobile devices could host more bacteria that someone's household bathroom.

The report found that parents have the dirtiest devices, when compared to those who did not care for children.

"Parents often seek solace in their bathroom and use the alone time to catch up on work emails, text messages, phone calls or social media by bringing their phone with them," said Vital Vio in the study. "In fact, those with kids are even more likely to use their phones in the bathroom (93%) than those who are childless (83%)."

Americans can also get sick from their workplace devices and spaces – especially if they eat where they work. About 48% eat lunch regularly at their desk, and 33% said they clean that same space just once a week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hygiene is typically thought in terms of proper hand-washing, body-washing and facial cleanliness. Another component consists of practicing good hygiene etiquette

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or in your upper sleeve – never your hands. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after coughing or sneezing.

Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers, the CDC said. – Staten Island Advance, N.Y./Tribune News Service

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