Many people have made it a habit to browse through their mobile phone while sitting on the toilet. Experts, however, warn that as little as five minutes of checking the likes and comments on your Facebook posts as nature calls can have serious unwanted effects on your health.
Worst Place To Use The Phone
While it is obvious that the toilet bowl is one of the dirtiest objects inside the house, it is not actually the main item in the bathroom that can cause illnesses.
Microbiologist Paul Matewele, from London Metropolitan University, said that toilet seats, handles, taps and sinks are covered in dangerous disease-causing germs. These include E.coli, known to cause intestinal illnesses and urinary tract infections; acinetobacter, which can cause a contagious respiratory infection; and C.diff., which can cause diarrhea.
The bathroom in general is one of the worst places to use the phone. When toilets flush, they spread germs everywhere. Bringing phones to the bathroom is particularly dangerous since people tend to carry these devices everywhere they go. People also constantly touch them and even bring them out on the table when eating.
"Because people are always carrying their cell phones even in situations where they would normally wash their hands before doing anything, cell phones do tend to get pretty gross," Emily Martin, from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said. "Taking a cell phone into the bathroom and then leaving with it is kind of like going in, not washing your hands and then coming back out."
Pathogens In Cellphones
Cellphones by themselves already pose health risks. Sharing phones, for instance, is not recommended especially during the flu season since the virus can survive on its surfaces for up to eight hours. Noroviruses such as the flu virus, which die off within minutes of being outside of a person, can survive far longer on dry surfaces. MRSA, a bacteria resistant to common antibiotics may also survive on surfaces for up to nine days.
Health experts have also warned that cellphones easily spread virus because they repeatedly come in contact with the face.
To prevent pathogens from spreading, mobile phones should be kept in the bag or pocket where they can be protected from contamination but for those who enjoy taking bathroom mirror selfies, Matewele advised thoroughly washing the hands before and after visiting the toilet cubicle. It is also advised to wipe the mobile phone with an antibacterial wipe.