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How humankind reverted back to landlines
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2012

That phone you're always flecking with spittle from your mouth, rubbing your fingers all over and sticking next to your ear canal - it might be kind of dirty. More dirty than a toilet.

According to MyHealthNewsDaily, cell phones actually carry 10 times more germs than toilet seats. The issue, Charles Gerba - a microbiologist at the University of Arizona - told the source, is that people just don't clean up after themselves enough when it comes to phones. You give the bathroom toilet a regular scrub down (or your cleaning service does, or your frat's pledges do) with bleach, known to reliably kill anything. But, Gerba asks, "When was the last time you cleaned your cell phone?"

How fair is this comparison though? Why is a toilet always the litmus test of germiness? Why not choose a standard that won't seem like shooting fish in a barrel, like computer keyboards, coffee mugs, your mail or even the pair of pants you bought at the thrift store and talked yourself into wearing - because, yeah, they looked THAT good - before you gave them a good wash? Are these not all germ farms too? And doesn't it get down to the point - that sharing germs is much worse than having germs? Little kids and their cooties have known that for ages.

As Gerba and the folks at MyHealthNewsDaily point out, the issue really isn't about how many germs are on your phone. You're inured to those (they're yours after all), so it's when you hand that phone over to your buddy so he can play Angry Birds that people start catching Ebola.

The best thing you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe from your bacteria-ridden cell phones? Take them out of the case and give them a good scrub once in awhile. While dunking your iPhone 4S in a tub of rubbing alcohol won't do much for the phone's efficacy, it will clean the thing off and reveal a lot about your understanding of electronics. Instead, grab a non-abrasive cloth, slightly dampened with some soapy water, and rub it down.

Other germy hotspots, according to Gerba? Television remotes, office phones, shopping carts and that notorious lobby or first floor elevator button. So next time you're headed up to your office, be sure to bring a gallon of bleach and give that elevator button a scrupulous polish. Don't mind the people watching - you're saving their health.



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