According to researchers, there is a 1 in 6 chance that your cellphone could be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the illness-causing bacteria that has recently made headlines for striking the food supply. The reason? Many cellphone users reportedly do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, transferring fecal matter that can spread E. coli bacteria onto their cellphone.
In fact, the research also highlighted how many people tend to lie about their hygiene habits, with lab tests revealing the truth about the lying study participants. Conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary at the University of London, scientists collected cellphone and hand samples from 390 volunteers across 12 different cities. After taking the samples, the scientists asked the participants about their hand-washing habits.
E. Coli Bacteria Contamination Highlights Lack of General Hygiene
95% percent of participants told researchers that they washed their hands using soap and water, however the lab tests revealed that 92 percent of phones and 82 percent of hands had bacteria on them — an indication that 92% of participants did not properly wash their hands, thus transferring the bacteria onto their phones. Among the unwashed hands, 16% of cellphones and hands were actually found to be contaminated with traces of E. coli bacteria.
Perhaps it’s time to routinely wash not only your hands, but your phone.
This study provides more evidence that some people still don’t wash their hands properly, especially after going to the toilet. I hope the thought of having E. coli on their hands and phones encourages them to take more care in the bathroom — washing your hands with soap is such a simple thing to do but there is no doubt it saves lives,” explains Dr. Val Curtis, a U.K. campaign leader for Global Handwashing Day.
Radiation: A Much Greater Cellphone Danger
While E. coli bacteria may be a disturbing cellphone contaminant, cellphone radiation is a much greater threat. Major studies performed by the World Health Organization (WHO) have admitted, years after the explosion of cellphone subscriptions, that cellphone-based radiation may be causing cancer through negatively affecting the brain and other parts of the body. With cellphone subscriptions at an all time high, the threat of radiation is also at an all time maximum.
The high concentration of microwaves emitted from cellphones during calls, texting, and general use have been found to lead to unknown changes in the brain. This means unknown long-term consequences that leave health experts baffled, simply waiting for a global health response to observe the effects. The public is essentially participating in one big experiment over the long-term effects of such radiation exposure, with major communications companies turning a blind eye to the warnings of major organizations like the WHO.
E. coli bacteria may be dangerous to your health, but it is nothing compared to the harsh effects of microwave radiation. Only using your cellphone when absolutely necessary and purchasing a high-quality cellphone protector are valuable steps in lowering your cancer risk.