Is your cell phone calling up bacteria? We put some to the test
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
One professor said they're 10 times as dirty as a toilet seat, but that doesn't keep us from carrying one around every day. We even hold them up to our face and mouth, so just what types of things might be on your cell phone?
We sent three random cell phones to a local testing lab to see what different kinds of bacteria could be living on phones.
More than 130 different bacteria colonies showed up between the three phones, and even the microbiologist was surprised at his findings.
The next time you push answer on your cell phone, you're probably also greeting hundreds of germs right here on the screen.
"One of the interesting things about bacteria is that they adapt so well to any environment that they're on because they're designed to survive," said Joe Henry with Atoka Inc.
Henry, a microbiologist, swabbed the phones and one week later the group cultivated numerous types of bacteria found on the devices.
"One of the phones had a staphylococcus epidermidis which is a common skin staph that is there all the time," he said.
On a different note, germs that grew off the other two phones surprised our researcher a little bit.
"What it is, is a bacteria that is unusual in the fact that it is found in the greening and spoilage of meats."
"The third type of bacteria that we isolated was a lactobacillus salivarius it's a member of the lactic acid bacteria. It can also be found in the saliva, and the intestinal track of man and human," Henry continued.
After identifying forms of germs that were found on phones the most important question is how harmful are they to our health? The answer we got is they're not at all.
It's the first time Henry has ever tested phones for bacteria, but the results weren't exactly what he was expecting.
"Honestly I expected to find other types of bacteria other than what I found," he said.
The test however, doesn't necessarily end here, because of the places and faces our cell phones touch every day the bacteria living on each text and call changes as well.
"I think over time that you're going to be exposed to different bacteria transferred to the phone, so you would see a different profile on the phone."
If you want to find out how to clean your phone and make sure those germs don't stick around on the surface, this could be a helpful link: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-clean-your-cell-phone1.htm