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Now wash your hands - and your mobile...

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It is the sort of news story that will have left many feeling queasy over their breakfast cereal - a study which suggests one in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London took nearly 400 samples from mobile phones and hands in 12 British cities.

They found 16% of phones and 16% of hands harboured E. coli (Escherichia coli), bacteria which inhabit the human intestines.

The largest proportion of contaminated phones was in Birmingham (41%) while Londoners were caught with the highest proportion of E. coli present on hands (28%)....

You simply have to look to the developing world to see the devastating effects of poor hygiene. Diarrhoeal disease remains one of the world's biggest killers.

While hand-washing may help prevent a nasty stomach bug here, in poorer countries it can save lives.

The survey from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is timed to publicise Global Handwashing Day on 15 October.

It is an annual event which promotes hand-hygiene, the cheapest and most effective way of preventing infection by bacteria and viruses.

But the sample size in each city was small, so the variations between them could be a statistical anomaly.

However Dr Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene says the study showed clear differences between north and south.

"We found the further north we went the more hands and phones were likely to be contaminated. It could be the bugs survive better in colder and wetter conditions or it might be that people wash their hands less."

I explained to Dr Curtis that such comments were unlikely to win her friends in Glasgow and Liverpool - two of the cities where samples were taken.

But she brushed this aside explaining that after a similar survey three years ago she was advised not to hang around Newcastle.

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I wonder what their pushing those ATM keys with??? At our lounge we serve snacks (assorted nuts, cocktail crackers, chex mix) from a pourable lidded dispenser to keep everyone's hands from touching the contents. I saw on a 60 Minutes show one time where bars, lounges, etc put out bowls of nuts or crackers on the bar counter and the amount of bacteria in the common bowl from the customers who went to the bathroom and did not wash their hands. Not to long ago it also dealth with womens handbags and not to place them on the floor in restrooms then take them home and set them on your kitchen counter (transferring all the germs)--things that we never think of but really makes an impression when shown like that. I known when I worked in a resturant 40years ago I remember the manager telling us not to throw away the bread from the tables but to return it to the warming drawer if it had not been eaten from (the roll not the serving basket). It made sense to a young girl at the time but now I would not even consider doing anything like that. I know some places still do though from hidden camera shows....how disgusting!

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This is funny really because some people take the mickey outa me for wiping my phone each day with a disinfectant wipe! I would like to think there is nothing but fingerprints on my phone! blushing

that is a good idea...and it would be good for the commuter keyboard too...just for general cleaning:popcorn:...not for the other stuff ::o

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It is the sort of news story that will have left many feeling queasy over their breakfast cereal - a study which suggests one in six mobile phones is contaminated with faecal matter.

I remember this when I was still in high school, my biology teacher teaches us that areas where there is public access are really dirty and filth like the hand rails of escalator, stairs, buses and subway (metro), the push button of elevator, the door knob, cellular phones and telephone, chairs, keyboards and mouse and money. These are the most common stuff we encounter every single day of our lives.

And I read that in US, there is an independent study by a concern mother about cleanliness in play area of the fast-food chains across US and Canada, the result is shocking.

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