Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1 of 6 Cell Phones Contaminated with Feces

You may want to think twice before biting your fingernails or picking a piece of food out of your teeth, especially if you just shook someone’s hands. In England, researchers recently found that one in six cell phones was contaminated with feces (poop). This is based on 390 samples taken across 12 cities. The study provided further evidence that people are simply not washing their hands properly after going to the bathroom…or not washing them at all.

If this is happening in England, it is most certainly happening in the U.S. And not only on cell phones, but on shopping carts too. The same shopping carts that little children rub their hands all over and try to put their mouths on. Grocery stores contain hygienic wipes to wipe down a cart when you walk into the store. Use them.

One of the main dangers of fecal contamination is becoming ill from E.coli bacteria. The illness can not only cause food poisoning but it can also kill you, as was noted in a previous blog entry on the dangers of bean sprouts.

One of the more interesting aspects of the study was that people were not honest about their hygiene practices. That is, while 95% of respondents said that they washed their hands with soap and water when possible, that 92% of phones and 82% of hands were contaminated with bacteria, 16% of which contained E. coli. In other words, people say one thing but then the evidence shows something else, a phenomenon I am well familiar with as a clinical neuropsychologist.

Reference: Article on CNN.com.

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