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Mobile phones are covered with up to 18 times more living bacteria than the flush handle on a men's lavatory, research suggests.
Swabs and analysis of 30 mobile handsets found that seven had high or warning levels of environmental bacteria, according to consumer group Which?
One contained such an intense concentration of bacteria, including faecal coliforms that anyone using it could have faced a serious stomach upset.
Which? said the findings suggest millions of UK mobiles would exceed the recommended acceptable levels of bacteria. While not immediately harmful, elevated levels of bacteria indicate poor hygiene and can act as a breeding ground for more serious germs.
Hygiene expert Jim Francis told Which?: “The levels of potentially harmful bacteria on one mobile were off the scale. That phone needs sterilising.”
The tests showed how easily bacteria could linger on the surface of a phone, which could be passed on to other people if they held the handset to look at photos or other applications.
Which? advises that phones can be cleaned regularly however bacteria and grow on a phone immediately after cleaning.
Additives such as Biomaster silver can be added to the plastics used to make the phone. These additives release silver ions, which have been proven to reduce the growth of bacteria by 99.99% and continuously work providing antibacterial protection for the life of the phone.
*Please note that Addmaster was acquired by the Polygiene Group AB in January 2021, so all news articles prior to that date will still be branded as Addmaster.