By Cyril Okoye
Yes, as strange as it sounds, it is also the truth. One may probably not believe it but it has been discovered that cell phones can be harmful to a very great extent than the usual suspicion of emitting Electro Magnetic Radiation, EMR.
According to recent studies, Cell phones harbour thriving colonies of bacteria and viruses. The average handset carries 18 times more potentially harmful germs than a flush handle in a toilet.
On daily basis we shake hands with sick people, touch bathroom and toilet doors knob much as our mouths vomit whatever disease-causing viruses and bacteria in our bodies.
Research by a scholar Mike Elgan,states thatÂ cell phones are dirtier than a toilet, yet they constantly come into contact with both hands and mouth. When they are not, they tend to be tucked away in pockets, a nice, warm environment that promotes the growth of microorganisms.
According to Elgan, â€œpeople see toilet flushes as being something dirty to touch, but they have less germs than phones. The bugs can end up on your hands which is a breeding ground and be passed back to your phone.
They can be transferred back and forth and eventually you could catch something nasty. if such could found in climes considered to be obsessed with hygiene, then what could be found on some cell phones here if they were tested, would be better imagined than seen.
This is considering that many handsets are used for commercial calls and they pass from one bacteria ridden hand to another by the minuteâ€.
Furthermore, the analysis of the Mail of London, on handsets also found that almost a quarter was so dirty that they had up to 10 times an acceptable level of Total Viable Count(TVC) bacteria. While TVC is not immediately harmful, elevated levels indicated poor personal hygiene and act as a breeding ground for other bugs.
Phones boasted 170 times the acceptable level of faucal coliforms, which are associated with human waste. Other bacteria including food poisoning bugs e.coli and staphylococcus aureus were found on the phones.
However, Elgan said that there are several things one can do to protect oneself and others from own cell phones. According to him, the easiest is to frequently clean phones with alcohol, even as Hand washing is a very effective method of infection control.
â€œPeople should learn to form the habit of washing their hands at intervals because everyday we touch many things that harbour bacteriaâ€ he added.