Your mobile phone is probably covered in deadly germs

iphone4s If you’ve taken delivery of a new iPhone 4S this morning, you’re probably feeling a little bit pleased with yourself right now. Well there’s another reason why your smugness levels should be higher than usual that you’re almost certainly not aware of.

That’s because, unless you’re a filthy monkey, your gleaming new phone isn’t one of the one in six in the country that are contaminated with E coli from being covered in ‘faecal bacteria’. Oh yes – that’s 16% of all the phones in the UK, according to a study by the ‘London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London’ (no, us neither).

So where are the dirtiest phones in the land? Birmingham, with 41% of bacteria-daubed phones. However, if it’s the actual hardcore E coli that you’re after, head to London. The study found that 28% of handsets in our fair capital are contaminated with the deadly bug.

There’s also a north-south divide, with northern cities being WAY dirtier than the southern ones. Glasgow, for example, is nine times germier than Brighton. We’re sure you’ll come up with your own suggestions as to why that might be the case.

Oh and it’s Global Handwashing Day tomorrow so buck your ideas up eh?



  • Dick
    > six in the country Is that the total number of the new iphones that steve jobs allowed them to release to the UK?
  • heywood j.
    Was there any racial or religious divide, or just Northerners versus Southerners ?
  • corbyboy
    In what way is E. coli deadly?
  • Paul
    @corbyboy When it causes a person to die. duh. It is deadly in countries with poor water supplies, as it causes diarrhea which kills through dehydration. In the UK E coli is pretty much just really, really unpleasant.
  • Noghar
    In fact more than 90% of the UK population actually carry faeces and urine around inside their bodies - terrifying, I know, but true. Everything from phones to supermarket trolleys is 'contaminated' with dust, hair grease, insect and bird dung, and yes, tiny traces of (shudder) poo. That's what our immune systems are for. Every time you smell crap, you're ingesting some of it, that's life, get over it. Honestly, have a few kids and you won't feel so prissy about puke, poos or puddles of wee. 'National Handwashing day' is a real giveaway - this 'story' is another scare tactic from marketing dickheads trying to sell soap and 'antibacterial hand cleansers'.
  • Eric C.
    Most strains of E.Coli are fairly harmless, it is E.Coli O157 that is the deadly one. It is deadlier in third world countries due to the general poorer immune systems of those there, but it still deadly over here. This is the strain you hear about on the news every now and then when there is an E.Coli outbreak.
  • crap
  • corbyboy
    @Paul E. coli is everywhere. You will find it on your hands, on your cars keys and on your computer keyboard. People very, very rarely die of E. coli in the UK. Hence my question "in what way is it deadly?" If you get hit by a car you might die, but we don't refer to "deadly cars." If you fall out of a window you might die, but we don't talk about "deadly windows." This article is trying to create a link between phones and illness that simply doesn't exist.
  • Your F.
    [...] Those persistently entertaining stirrers at Bitter Wallet would like to induce some panic into your day if you’re still hanging onto your ageing Nokia and retirement-ready Samsung.  And based on where you live in the country, their story makes for slightly gross, very entertaining reading. [...]
  • Sawyer
    At least no-one brought out that old gem: "more germs than a toilet seat". Because lets face it, toilet seats are pretty clean. They might conjure up nasty images due to their proximity to human waste, but in reality they're touched only by thighs and are generally cleaned fairly often. Not like phones, keyboards, and anything else you put your grubby mitts on.

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