NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Mobile Hygiene

By the time young adults get to college, chances are they have developed proper hygienic and hand washing habits. However, it may be their most precious belonging that is spreading disease from one to student to the next.

Mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, may harbor more bacteria than a public toilet seat.

A study featured on ABC News concluded that more than half the mobile phones tested had traces of fecal matter and salmonella.

Foodborne bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli can be easily transferred to a touch screen when following recipes online.

“That is disgusting,” said UMass graduate Tony Morelli. “When I think about how many meals I have cooked and I was texting and swiping the screen the whole time. . .gross!”

Mobile phones are especially dangerous when it comes to infectious disease because they are held against the face. If shared with others, phones could be contaminated with anything from chicken pox to conjunctivitis (an eye disease) or even head lice.

“I can’t believe I let my 2-year-old niece play with my phone!” said NECC student Melissa Dow. “She puts it in her mouth all the time, and I always blame the daycare when she gets sick.”

According to Women’s Health Magazine, cleaning phones and cases once a week can help reduce the amount of bacteria. Most manufacturers sell wipes designed for their own devices. However, any alcohol-free disinfectant wipe should do the trick.