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Smartphones not as unhygienic as expected

07.11.2014

A new report by a Furtwangen University research team has shown that our smartphones are not as unhygienic as we might think. And with a simple daily cleaning routine we can reduce the number of germs even further.

The research team, led by Prof Dr. Markus Egert of Furtwangen University, Schwenningen Campus, has been able to show that, contrary to the horror stories we often hear from the internet, Smartphone touchscreens are actually relatively free from micro-organisms.

In the recently-released study the researchers found the average number of bacteria on Smartphone touchscreens to be around one per square centimetre. That's about 100 times fewer microbes than are found on the human hand or on the average toilet seat at home.

However, the study does show that small numbers of some potentially dangerous bacteria, such as Escherichia coli can be found on the touchscreens. 50% of the bacteria identified belonged to Risk Group 2 meaning they were potential pathogens.

To improve hygiene and reduce bacteria by up to 96%, the researchers recommend either clean microfiber cloths or — even better — spectacle cleaning cloths soaked in alcohol. Although smartphone manufacturers advise using only dry cloths to clean, the study shows that this method removes just 80% of the germs on the surface.

The study has now led to a scientific partnership with Zeiss Vision International GmbH in Aalen to conduct more research into the cleaning and hygiene of surfaces. Professor Egert is a specialist in the area of household hygiene and the microbiology of everyday objects.

DOI: 10.1007/s12223-014-0350-2


Weitere Informationen:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12223-014-0350-2 - Folia Microbiologica
http://en.hs-furtwangen.de  - Furtwangen University

Jutta Neumann | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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