Feeds

Sixth of Britain's cellphones have traces of poo on them

Playing Angry Birds on the loo: There are consequences

Build a business case: developing custom apps

One in every six mobiles in the UK has got traces of poo on it, according to a new study.

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Queen Mary, University of London, found that mobes were typically contaminated with faecal matter because people still didn't wash their hands properly with soap after going to the loo. (Or it could also be because people can't resist tweeting and playing Angry Birds while they're in the middle of a particularly stubborn bowel movement.)

The study, released ahead of Global Handwashing Day held on 15 October, also showed that the British tend to lie about their hygiene habits.

"Although 95 per cent of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, 92 per cent of phones and 82 per cent of hands had bacteria on them. Worryingly, 16 per cent of hands and 16 per cent of phones were found to harbour E coli – bacteria of a faecal origin," the study's canned statement said.

Researchers travelled to 12 cities in the UK to take samples and ask questions. They found that Brummies had the most contaminated phones, with 41 per cent of them carrying E coli, but the dirtiest hands were found on 28 per cent of Londoners.

"This study provides more evidence that some people still don't wash their hands properly, especially after going to the toilet," Dr Val Curtis from LSHTM said in the statement.

"I hope the thought of having E coli on their hands and phones encourages them to take more care in the bathroom - washing your hands with soap is such a simple thing to do but there is no doubt it saves lives."

Faecal bacteria can survive on people's hands and on surfaces for hours at a time, especially in warmer temperatures away from sunlight, and it's also easily transferable.

While E coli can result in nothing more than a mild stomach upset, it's also linked to fatal cases of food poisoning. Such an outbreak occurred in Germany last June, for instance. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.