Cell phones harbor thriving colonies of bacteria and viruses. Researchers say, for example, that cell phones are major carriers of superbugs in hospitals. Now, a new gadget helps you sterilize your phone!
It's no wonder cell phones are so disgusting. Our hands are dirty -- we shake hands with people who are sick, touch bathroom door knobs and pet the dog -- and our mouths spew whatever disease-causing viruses and bacteria are infecting our bodies. Cell phones are constantly coming into contact with both hands and mouth. When they're not, they tend to be tucked a way in pockets, a nice, warm environment that promotes the growth of microorganisms.
Researchers at Ondokuz Mayis University in Turkey tested the cell phones of 200 doctors and nurses and found that nearly all
95 percent -- were tainted with bacteria, with some carrying the MRSA superbug that can sicken and even kill patients and that cannot be defeated with any antibiotic. They concluded that doctors and nurses were infecting patients with their cell phones. In the US, MRSA is the cause of most hospital infections.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself and others from your own cell phone. The easiest is to frequently clean your phone with rubbing alcohol. You can also use a new product from PureLight, a company that makes UV wants for sterilizing large surfaces. Their new portable wand is designed for cell phones. For the best protection, you can also use one of the methods above, plus use a Bluetooth headset most of the time, to minimize the mouth and hand contact with the phone.