We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

1 in 6 UK mobile phones are poopy, study finds

New research out of England finds that 1 in 6 mobile phones there are contaminated with fecal matter, most likely due to poor hand washing habits.

The research, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, was released over the weekend to call attention to Global Handwashing Day, which was Oct. 15 in case you missed it.

MORE NETWORK RESEARCH: Like our Alpha Doggs Facebook page 

MORE SCIENCE: Data storage in a petri dish 

The findings of the UK-wide study by scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London also reveal a tendency among Britons to lie about their hygiene habits.

Although 95% of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, 92% of phones and 82% of hands had bacteria on them, based on 390 samples taken from phones and hands in 12 cities visited by researchers. More than 1 in 7 hands and phones were found to be contaminated with harmful E. coli bacteria, which can survive on phones and hands for hours, especially in warmer temperatures.

Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said in a statement: “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."

Concerns about germy tech gear are nothing new. Some companies have even marketed products such as germ-free computer mice.  But with mobile phone sales booming (Apple says it sold more than 4 million new iPhone 4S phones over the weekend), and people frequently passing phones around to share pictures,  there’s no doubt that mobile phones are where the germiest action is these days.

Wash your hands, then Circle Bob on Google+ 

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

2015 visual trends: 20 leading designers & artists reveal what should be inspiring us in 2015

IDG UK Sites

Mac tips tricks & hacks: 10 things you didn't know your Mac could do