The disgusting reason you should never use your phone on the toilet

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The disgusting reason you should never use your phone on the toilet

Innocently scrolling on our phones while on the toilet could actually be doing more harm than good.  In recent years we have become increasingly addicted to our mobile phones.

It may have started with using the devices for everyday tasks such as a morning alarm, calendar alerts and navigation, but they are now used as a source of constant entertainment or distraction.

This includes online shopping while watching TV, watching videos on public transport and even scrolling through social media while on the toilet.

The latter may seem like an innocent activity but recent research has revealed this could be exposing many of us to harmful bacteria.

A swabbing study, conducted by Initial Washroom Hygiene, found a “high level” of biological contamination on more than half of smartphones.

They discovered that the average smartphone harbours over double the amount of a toilet seat, with one recording a shocking contamination level of over six times as much (558 percent).

The findings were based on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) swab tests and an ATP bioluminescence reader, which detects levels of biological life not visible to the human eye.

Detailed surface samples were taken from 50 separate smartphones.

The analysis of the results found that more than half (52 percent) of the phones were what experts would describe as “heavily contaminated” with microbial contamination.

Alongside the swabbing exercise, a consumer research survey of more than 2,000 respondents was also undertaken to find out the mobile phone habits of the general public.

This revealed exactly why our phones are so contaminated: as one in four UK adults admitted that they never clean their smartphone.

On top of this, 59 percent admitted to using their phones while in the bathroom or washroom.

Furthermore, 15 percent of individuals confessed to not washing their hands every time they visit the bathroom – meaning they could transfer bacteria to their smartphones, even if they do not use them in the toilet cubicle itself.

Men were 10 percent more likely (64 percent) than women (55 percent) to admit to taking their device to the washroom, 24 percent of them doing so every time.

Commenting on the results, Jamie Woodhall, technological innovations manager at Initial Washroom Hygiene, said: “Our phones are a common reservoir for potentially harmful pathogens, and we know that people are prone to using them while visiting the washroom.

“This is especially alarming when you consider that up to 80 percent of all infections are transmitted by touch.

“So when people use their phones and put them near their mouths when on calls, they are potentially increasing the likelihood of picking up an illness.”

He advised: “Hand hygiene is vitally important. Think about the number of times you touch your phone each day.

“Every time you do so, you could potentially collect and spread microbial activity. Washing your hands regularly is one of the most powerful steps people can take to help prevent the spread of bacteria and illness.

“We recommend washing your hands at least five times a day, as well as every time you use the washroom.

“And of course, it helps to give your phone a regular clean with an antibacterial wipe.”

The swabbing found phones had an average ATP reading scale of 586- with some as high as 1,455. For comparison toilet seats had an average reading of 220 and a high of 424.

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