Cellphones Test Positive For Harmful Bacteria AKA Hold Something Against Your Face A Lot And You'll Get Germs On It

Inside Edition swabbed 15 people’s cellphones and found they tested positive for harmless bacteria, yeasts and fungus, as well as bacteria that can cause acne, gastrointestinal infection, boils, pneumonia, meningitis, and “thrush,” a mouth infection.

The report from January 2006 neglected to say whether the amount found was enough to cause infection, or whether they had tested the cellphone owners for occurrences of the bacteria found on their own phones.

Dirty Cell Phones [Inside Edition]


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  1. dbeahn says:

    Stay tuned for more “totally obvious shit you already knew!” at 11….

  2. billybastion says:

    THIS must be the amazing video we were given a sneak peek of several weeks ago. surprising though, since i dont see any mention of the geek squad.

    clearly i can see what has taken the consumerist so long to post this. or at least confirm/deny its existence. bravo on the video guys! good work! it was worth the wait!

    /end sarcasm

  3. rmz says:


    I hate how our society is getting so sissified. Humanity has gotten along for years by living in some pretty germy conditions, and we’re designed to take it. Bacteria on everything around you is unavoidable and normal, and is not going to kill you. That’s why we have immune systems.

    Those Lysol commercials showing the little kid about to chew on the “infected” pencil with this super-dramatic close-up and music buildup make me want to scream.

  4. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    Well, Staphylococcus aureus can be found on the skin of abou… must have gotten over their fear of fecal bacteria being sprayed in the air every time they flush the toilet and ending up on their toothbrush, so the kindly producers at Inside Edition decided to find something else to undo years of cognitive therapy. Thanks, assholes! Pulitzer gold, baby!

  5. bluegus32 says:

    RMZ: I second that! Myself, I’ve never heard of cell-phone related colds. Methinks people are getting a little germ-phobic.

  6. jamesdenver says:

    Thanks Dbeahn. Who the fuck gets “boils” from using a cell phone? Just because there’s bacteria that CAN cause something doesn’t mean it will.

    Exercise for a good immune system, wash your hands regularly, and don’t put your fingers in your mouth. That’s it. Period.

  7. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    @King of the Wild Frontier: Waaugh! Didn’t know about the autosnipping of URLs. That first line should read something like: “Well, Staphylococcus aureus can be found on the skin of about 25% of the general population; most OCD sufferers must have”, and the link pointed to MedlinePlus.

  8. erica.blog says:

    The report from January 2006

    The lack of followup in the intervening 18 months convinces me that this is a non-issue that Inside Edition used to fill a slow news day…

    Boils, good lord. At least they didn’t find any PLAGUE bacteria, but that would have been funnier.

  9. tcp100 says:

    How about just being frank..:

    Consumerist, why are you posting old pointless crap like this, and not telling us why you bullshitted everyone about the Geek Squad video.

    You guys are acting just like a company that ignores its customers on this issue.
    The hypocrisy is rich.

  10. azntg says:

    I think I’m more likely to die from the food I eat than from the harmful bacterias on my cell phone. Next!

  11. jamesdenver says:

    I can top that slow news day. Our local affiliate ran a story “Little Girl Doesn’t Like Spiders”


  12. enm4r says:


    We can have 743 Walmart Nazi posts, but we can’t even have a post to follow up with a promised video. It’s beyond ridiculous at this point. This is just more of over committing, under performing. Sounds like pretty much every anticonsumerist company out there.

  13. tcp100 says:

    @enm4r: Warned, eh? Has that been happening? Fantastic. Sorry. We shall be silent and compliant.

  14. alpha says:


    Someone over the weekend had the first comment in every thread yelling (ie all caps) asking where the video was. It was rather amusing


    It really is ridiculous. This is beyond “Oh the editing is taking us longer.” It has now reached either “Oh our hard drive crashed and we were dumb and didn’t have a backup” or “Oh, apparently we don’t have a legal leg to stand on and BB/GeekSquad called us out on it before we could even post the story.”

    Consumerist: We the readers implore you to own up and at the very least give us a reason the story has not been posted yet.

  15. enm4r says:

    @tcp100: I have no desire to go find random articles it was posted in, but yes, Carey (weekend editor) warned/brought up banning someone(or more, can’t remember if I just saw the same one more than once) for bringing it up as it had no relevance to the articles it was posted in.

  16. SOhp101 says:

    @jamesdenver: LOL that article is hilarious! probably as lame as this post.

  17. TechnoDestructo says:

    Wasn’t there a study a while back that showed people who wear headsets and/or headphones all day at work are at like an 80 percent higher risk for ear infections, and have higher incidences of acne where the headsets contact their faces?

  18. markedward says:


    Here’s an idea: if you don’t like Consumerist anymore, stop visiting the website. That’s hypocrisy, “I hate Consumerist now, but I’m gonna keep coming back!”

  19. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @markedward: They’re just hedging their bets, you know, in case the sting video does come out — they wouldn’t want to miss it.

    After all this wankery I really sort of wish the video would never materialize, just to piss these people off even more.

  20. enm4r says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: You’re right, it’s absolutely ridiculous to expect that a website designed for consumers, would actually, you know, respect it’s viewers. After all, it’s not like our viewership makes them money (especially recently!). The point is that what was promised was not delivered, and if it were a Fortune 500 company that had done this, there’d be a 10 part expose by now.

  21. synergy says:

    I can’t decide whether I want the video to never come out so these people send themselves into apopletic fits or for Consumerist to post something like “we’re not doing it afterall, sorry” or “we’ve encountered some problems, we’ll let you know when we’re showing it.” Although now that I think of it, the annoying people shouting all weekend will probably then go on and on crowing about how lame Consumerist is. I’m thinking they should just stop visiting the free site if it doesn’t please them. *shrug*

  22. tcp100 says:

    @markedward: No. Grow up. “Yes, you should only visit a website if you’re a sycophant who agrees with everything! After all, it’s FREE!” .. Yet when people say “it’s Wal-Mart, what do you expect”, you get a chorus of people chanting about how Wal-Mart needs to respect its customers.. (Hint: Right now, it doesn’t.)

    The idea of the consumerist is great. They have been great, recently. Currently, however, execution is lacking. They’re digging up old stories, irrelevant stories, and not following through with what they promise. Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks they’re not exactly living up to their aim right now. Does that mean Ben is an idiot and the site is worthless? No. But I think they need a little criticism if they want to be anything more than a fluff blog.

    If you think a site like this is going to make any impact at all when the readership simply accepts everything the site says and does, you’re sadly mistaken. The only way the Consumerist can have a positive impact is to make sure they’re taken seriously. They should have some standards of integrity, just like the companies they report on.

    But if you’re here simply to find out how to make 89-cent hex wrenches out of 39-cent pencils, by all means, keep on readin’, buddy!

  23. omfpe says:

    Thrush is not caused by bacteria. It is a yeast infection: candidiasis, the same fungus that frequently causes urinary tract infections (ITIs).