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Fecal Matter Commonly Found on Cellphones

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Many people have heard how dirty hotel room television remotes are, but did you know that 1 in 6 cell phones have fecal matter on them? At least that’s what one study found out about cell phones in the U.K. While I was pretty horrified to hear how dirty cell phones are, I guess it isn’t much of a surprise given the number of people I’ve heard talking on their cell phone in the restroom while on the toilet!

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that 16% of hands and 16% of cell phones that they tested were positive for E. coli, which is a bacteria found in feces. The researchers say that the findings reveal that people aren’t as diligent about their hygiene as they claim and that although 95% of people claim to wash their hands with soap and warm water when possible, 92% of phones and 82% of hands tested had E. coli on them.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacteria that can result in bloody diarrhea, dehydration and kidney failure. Plus, if you think cellphones are the only dirty surface, just think of all the other places people touch with unwashed hands–grocery store carts, ATM keypads, computer keyboards–I’m sure you can add to the list. But before you go out and get a hazmat suit, the most simple step that you can take to reduce your risk of exposure to E. coli is to wash your hands on a regular basis, especially after using the bathroom.