Your iPhone Is Dirtier Than a Toilet

A new study reveals that touchscreen phones have 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle. Grossed out? Here's how to clean up your act before flu season hits.

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iGerm: A new study shows that touchscreen phones like the iPhone have 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle.Be careful when handling your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Droid. No, not for fear of scratching them -- these otherwise lifesaving devices may actually be hazardous to your health. In fact, new research suggests a cell phone has 18 times the amount of bacteria found on a toilet handle.

"If you put a virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips," says Timothy Julian, a Stanford University doctoral student who co-authored the study on the spread of viruses. And it won't be long before you touch your eyes, nose or mouth -- the mucous membranes through which many viruses get into the body.

Since flu season is just around the corner, it seems these touchscreen devices may be to blame for at least some sick days and trips to the pharmacy. But there are products and tips out there to help you keep your phone -- and body -- free of germs. CleenCell, a Los Angeles-based startup, offers moistened wipes to clean your touchscreen without damaging the LCD screen, while VIOLight has a UV sanitizer for cell phones that claims to destroy 99.9 percent of germs. There is, of course, also the old-fashioned way: washing your hands frequently.

Tags: cell phone germs, CleenCell, Mobile, News, phone bacteria, phone germs, smartphone bacteria, smartphone germs, smartphones, Stanford, touchscreen phones, VIOLight

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