Mobile Devices Harbor More Germs Than A Men's Room Flush Handle

A new study finds that the mobile devices are excellent virus vectors, harboring 18% times more bacteria than a typical men’s bathroom flush handle. Furthermore, “If you put virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips,” said the study’s co-author. And, “a fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth or nose.” Next time you borrow someone’s cellphone, you might want to bust out the rubber gloves and Lysol first.

Talk about going viral: Touch-screen devices can harbor flu germs [Sacramento Bee]

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  1. AstroPig7 says:

    I get flak for refusing to use the headsets and telephone handsets in other cubicles without cleaning them first. There is no way that I would use someone’s actual cell phone unless I was desperate.

  2. eli says:

    Newsflash! Thing that gets cleaned frequently has less germs than thing that never gets cleaned.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    And once we clean everything we touch, we’ll be completely free of germ, right?


  4. lehrdude says:

    There’s a clap for that…

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I spend a lot of time on public transportation, surrounded by germy people and their germy things. My germiness and my germy things bother me much less than the guy next to me coughing into a ratty tissue. While I practice basic precautionary measures (staying away from people who are visibly sick) and good hygiene (washing my hands before I eat) I know that germs are unavoidable and inevitable.

  6. StuffThingsObjects says:

    Maybe it is you that is the germ.

  7. c!tizen says:

    HAHA! Who said Macs can’t get viruses?

  8. Dover says:

    Our technology is going to make us sick, OMG, EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!!

    Seriously, a story like this comes out every week it seems and they’re getting pretty old. Yes, germs are everywhere and they’re spread, among other methods, because of commonly-touched objects (door handles, phones, etc.). Most of them aren’t bad for us, our bodies are used to most of the ones that are, and once in a while we’ll get the sniffles.

    Oh, and our bathrooms are actually pretty clean.

    • Saltpork says:

      Yes they are. Bathrooms are clean because they can’t support bacterial & viral life in most cases.
      Your face and hands are more ‘germy’ than a toilet or sink simply due to the material and temperature.

      Things that get touched daily & never get cleaned like a keyboard or a cell phone are going to have germs on them. We have germs all over us.
      This isn’t revelation here, it’s just not something most of us want to think about.
      Both inside and out of us there are bacteria & viruses constantly around us. It’s part of being a living thing in a living world.

      Put away your portable foam scented hand sanitizer and join the rest of us.
      Practice basic hygiene. Wash your hands before you eat & after you use the bathroom. The rest of the time, don’t worry about it unless you have a medical reason to.

      Have a good weekend.

  9. MMD says:

    I’m not a fan of unsanitary conditions…which is why I *am* a fan of white blood cells. And white blood cells need to be taken out for a spin every now and again so they don’t fall asleep on the job. So I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t get to worked up about this sort of thing. Germs are everywhere, whether we know the percentages involved or not. Use common sense and don’t be gross, and for the most part you’ll be ok.

  10. Eyegor says:

    Yeah, but they’re MY devices… Anyone who handles my iPad deserves whatever might be lingering

  11. quail says:

    Is anyone else sick of the germaphobic news that occurs when it’s a slow news day? // yawn // Wasn’t it just last year they reported that our keyboards where the most germ infested things? Oh and in the summer they reported that our TV remotes were the most germ infested items in the house.

    This isn’t news people. Oh, and the majority of germs that are out there are either benign to us or are actually helpful to us.

  12. RayanneGraff says:

    This is just common sense. A mobile device is something that gets touched constantly, that nobody thinks to clean. I wipe my phone down with alcohol every day when I get home from work.

    Another germ-playground that nobody thinks to clean is your purse/handbag. Be you a girl or a guy, if you carry a bag, that mofo gets DIRTY. I cant tell you how many times I’ll be in a public bathroom & see women come in & put their bags on the FLOOR. *vomits* I spray my bag down with lysol every few days. Yecch!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I hate it when people put their bags on the floor! There are hooks for a reason! Whenever I see a door without a hook, I’ll open the door, loop the handles onto the top of the door frame and try to close the door with the bag hanging off the door. It usually works.

      • CalicoGal says:

        NO WAY IN hell I put my purse on ANY floor!! And on a public BATHROOM floor?? *wretch*
        If there’s no hooks on the door, I hold it.
        I wont even set my bag down on a counter in a food place, shop, doctor office, or other public place.

  13. cmdr.sass says:

    It’s disingenuous to compare the “germiness” of something to a toilet or bathroom fixture since these tend to be among the cleanest places you could test. Not that you would want to, but it would be more sanitary to prepare food on a toilet seat than your average kitchen counter.

    • mmmsoap says:

      It’s also disingenuous to not consider the type of germ being collected. If Sample A has an excessive growth of non-pathogenic E. coli, while Sample B has a limited growth of salmonella, then the report of “germiness” wouldn’t really correctly convey the risk of coming into contact with each sample. If you focus on the excessive growth in Sample A, then you miss the real concern with Sample B.

  14. Sian says:

    or you could, I dunno, not worry so much about germs and accept some as the cost of not living in a bubble. You have an immune system for a reason.

  15. TehQ says:

    Germs are good for you. You need to be exposed to germs to build up a tolerance to them. If keep everything hospital clean you are going to end up getting sick more often than someone who doesn’t. I wash my hands like you’re suppose to and clean up when things get dirty. I very rarely get sick and when I do its only for a day or so.

  16. amgriffin says:

    I blame it on lack of flushing in the men’s restroom – a la “bucket of paydays”.

  17. APCO25guy says:

    Interesting, my Nextel i880 came with a leaflet that says the painted surfaces are coated with something called “Agion”, antimicrobial, which claims to inhibit the growth of microbes and inhibit the reproduction of microbes on the surfaces of the unit. Don’t know why this isn’t used on more cellphones

  18. quail says:

    Does this mean that our future robotic overlords will threaten us with iPads on their extended, tubular appendages, and laugh maniacally while doing it?

  19. AllanG54 says:

    As I’ve said before…I guess no one in the business world will be shaking hands after reading this article. Maybe the Japanese bow style of greeting would be more a propos these days.

  20. NettyM says:

    That’s because our mobile devices get used a lot more than a men’s room flush handle.

  21. exconsumer says:

    Which is to say . . . still not enough to actually make you sick . . . because that kind of intermittent contact with run of the mill bacteria and germs is never what really makes you sick.

    I’m all for cleanliness, but there’s bacteria and germs everywhere, and our bodies are more than capable of handling the vast majority of them.

  22. Beeker26 says:

    You know, we have this thing called an immune system. Much better at preventing disease than rubber gloves, Lysol, and Purell combined.

  23. Kurt says:

    Not sure how we’ve survived as a species. Anti-bacterial soap will be the death of us all.

    When I was a kid, your parents kicked you out of the house in the summer and you ate fistfuls of dirt. It is part of the survival process to be exposed to germs and have your immune system handle them.

    If the news media doesn’t have anything else to scare the public, they whip out the ‘X has more germs than a toilet’ story. Good for another 24-hour news cycle of fear…

  24. mmmsoap says:

    “A new study finds that the mobile devices are excellent virus vectors, harboring 18% more bacteria than a typical men’s bathroom flush handle.”

    Are we talking viruses or bacteria here? “Virus vector” in this sense, implies a mode in which viruses are spread infectiously. Bacteria are not the same as viruses, and it’s frustrating that the author of the original article can’t be bothered to understand and/or clarify the difference.

  25. Blooberriz says:

    How do you guys think I feel?

    I work for Sprint as a repair tech.. I handle more cellphones a day than you probably handle in your lifetime. I do wash my hands regularly & use purell etc throughout the day, especially before eating lunch.

    I rarely get sick. I may get 1 or 2 colds a year if that….

    I like to think that I am just a badass !

  26. Difdi says:

    I want to be a telephone sanitizer now! I could save the world from a dirty telephone-borne virus!

  27. Daggertrout says:

    We wouldn’t be having this issue if we hadn’t have launched all the telephone sanitizers and other useless people toward that stupid little backwater planet in that plural sector!

  28. Galium says:

    I did not know that a woman’s flush handle was cleaners than a man’s flush handle. Why did you have to put in “man’s” when you could have said “dirtier than a flush handle in a bathroom”. Having been a janitor at one point in my life, the woman’s bathroom was more often nastier than the men’s bathroom.