One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

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One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  eddie on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:23 pm

One in six mobile phones harbour faecal germs
'Nationwide problem'

Fri 14 Oct, 2011 08:00 am BST


One in six mobile phones have faecal germs
© edbockstock - Fotolia.com

One in six mobile phones in Britain is contaminated with faecal matter, according to new research.

Experts say the most likely reason for the potentially harmful bacteria festering on so many gadgets is people failing to wash their hands properly with soap after going to the toilet.

The findings of the UK-wide study by scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London also reveal a tendency among Britons to lie about their hygiene habits.

Although 95 per cent of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, 92 per cent of phones and 82 per cent of hands had bacteria on them.

Some 16 per cent of hands and 16 per cent of phones were found to harbour E. coli – bacteria of a faecal origin. Harmful E coli (Escherichia coli) is associated with stomach upsets and has been implicated in serious cases of food poisoning such as the fatal O157 outbreak in Germany in June.

The researchers carried out the study to mark Global Handwashing Day.

Researchers travelled to 12 cities and took 390 samples from mobile phones and hands which were analysed in the lab to find out the type and number of germs lurking there. Participants were also asked a series of questions about their handwashing habits.

They found the largest proportion of contaminated phones was in Birmingham (41%) while Londoners had the highest proportion of E. coli present on their hands (28%).

However, actual levels of bacteria increased the further north the scientists went; the dirtiest city being Glasgow, where average bacterial levels on phones and hands were found to be nine times higher than in Brighton, reinforcing a North/South divide. The scientists also found those who had bacteria on their hands were three times as likely to have bacteria on their phone.

Faecal bacteria can survive on hands and surfaces for hours at a time, especially in warmer temperatures away from sunlight, the scientists said, and are easily transferred by touch to door handles, food and even mobile phones. From there, the germs can be picked up by other people

Dr Ron Cutler, of Queen Mary, University of London, said: "Our analysis revealed some interesting results from around the UK. While some cities did much better than others, the fact that E. coli was present on phones and hands in every location shows this is a nationwide problem. People may claim they wash their hands regularly but the science shows otherwise."

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Re: One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  pinhedz on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:18 am

I'd be interested in the results of a similar study of the table settings in restaurants.

It wouldn't bother me, though. There has already been a study showing that the bacteria contamination found in kitchens is worse than that found in bathrooms (this isn't really surprising, since bacteria can breed in matter in kitchens that is more appetizing to them than what they can find in bathrooms).

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Re: One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  pinhedz on Sun May 04, 2014 5:58 am

Miss manners says that if while eating in a restaurant you have to get up to go somewhere for a short time, the proper place to leave your napkin until you return is on your seat--not on the table next to your plate.

One reader objected on grounds which I shall not repeat, because some theories convey too much information. silent 

Miss Manners' response: "Miss Manners would rather not know by what path you believe microbes might make their way from one persons digestive tract to another person's mouth." 

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Re: One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:01 am

Some men will not touch the door handle when they exit a public WC. They put their hand in their jacket pocket so only the jacket fabric touches the handle.

Leo should have thought of this:


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Re: One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:03 am

I also have it on good authority (tho hearsay, not eye-witness) that American women will not touch the flush lever in a public WC--they often just step on it with their shoe.

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Re: One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:59 pm


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Re: One in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter

Post  pinhedz on Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:30 am

pinhedz wrote:I'd be interested in the results of a similar study of the table settings in restaurants.

It wouldn't bother me, though.  There has already been a study showing that the bacteria contamination found in kitchens is worse than that found in bathrooms (this isn't really surprising, since bacteria can breed in matter in kitchens that is more appetizing to them than what they can find in bathrooms).

And another thing--Thomas Crapper's invention was designed to dispose of waste in an efficient manner, unlike kitchen sinks, which are loaded with crud and bacteria and nobody deals with it very efficiently--they just smear it around with a wash cloth.

Pinhedz dad (otherwise known as "The Doktor") was grossed out by the wash cloth draped over the faucet.

When asked why, he said he was grossed out by "the very idea that there is such a disgusting thing."

Those bacteria-saturated wash clothes really do smell, you know. Suspect

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