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back to article Sixth of Britain's cellphones have traces of poo on them

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 …

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Anonymous Coward

Poo?

You mean I SHOULDN'T be keeping my mobile up my bum?

Dang, you learn summat new every day...

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Anonymous Coward

You do have it set to vibrate, right?

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When I am in a classroom I always put the kids off eating in an IT room by pointing out the fact that most home computer keyboards have more bacteria than a toilet seat. A lot of them suddenly loose their appetite. I suspect those who don't probably don't wash their hands anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

If I may add a: Yeah, but...

Chopping boards have three times the bacteria of a toilet seat and as I don't get food poisoning all the time the answer is:

Well, that's obviously alright then.

Chopping boards, crucially, don't have fecal bacteria. The odd keyboard may and I certainly won't go for the nuts in my local...

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Silver badge

Why pick on phone, good daily-fail headline grabber I supposed, but they should check a few more surfaces.

I think you'd be hard pressed to exit a pub toilet without getting something on your hands from the taps, door handle etc etc etc... Then stand on the bus/tube on the way home and grab something to steady yourself... Oh dear...

So as always, wash your hands before sticking them in your mouth or cooking.

Oh, but don't go completely anal about it, exposure to things does help the immune system, it's one of the theories why there are more allergies these days, kids just don't get out into the garden and eating worms like they used to - they don't get past the door way before an over protective parent dives on them with an anti-bac spray.

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Coat

Obviously mainly Blackberry users

Taking Research In Motion way too literally :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Research In Motion

Blackberry or Dangleberry?

But seriously - was it the E-Coli on the blackberrys that caused the recent outage?

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Coat

You mean to say..

.. Research OF Motion ..

The one with the bog roll, thanks..

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I'll keep this in mind the next time I decide to lick some random person's mobile phone.

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c'mon what we really want to know is whether Android phones are more poo splattered than iPhones.

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Anonymous Coward

well....

I have always known that Iphones were shitty. Now I have proof.

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Everything has traces of poo on it.

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Anonymous Coward

Still with the dirty protest? They'll put you in solitary again!

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In other news...

Six in every six humans in the UK has got traces of poo on it

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Anonymous Coward

What about iPads...

... I use mine to read The Reg while on the crapper

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Joke

The obvious joke

You've got more than traces of poo on your hands if you're using an iPad - you've got the whole turd.

(Yes, yes, I know, but *someone* was going to say it...)

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Facepalm

Angry turds?

Everyone normally has bacteria (mainly friendly flora) on their hands, so were the 16% tested without working in the bleach factory at the time?

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Silver badge

Lucky...

...its not on something we regularly put near our faces.

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Coat

But it's on everything we regularly put near our faeces......

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Coffee/keyboard

95% used soap, where available

Rubbish, or the sample is not representative. The number of men I see splash their hands or just walk straight out is disgusting and certainly not 5%. Why the aversion to soap? Totally gross.

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Anonymous Coward

In the good ol' days

Before mobile phones, iPads and Kindle, it was accepted practice to have a newspaper, magazine or book (anyone used to read viz?) in the little room. This had the added advantage, that if you run out of loo paper then there was a ready made solution.

Perhaps people are using their new gadgets as surrogate shite-paper? The iScrape perhaps?

To be on the safe side, I always wash my hands after reading the Register.

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Anonymous Coward

"To be on the safe side, I always wash my hands after reading the Register."

Hahahahahaa (I hate lol)

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Anonymous Coward

I remember one of their 'Top Tips' - "save money on toilet paper by..." actually it's too disgusting.

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Unhappy

I've witnessed this cr*p

I've seen/heard too many men in toilets in offices run their hands under water for as little as 1 second. How is that supposed to wash them?

Soap AND warm water is needed for at least 10 seconds of vigourous rubbing after doing a wee or at least 15 secs after doing a poo. If someone has experience toilet paper malfunction they should wash their hands twice paying attention to rubbing finger tips too.

How many people leave a public toilet by pulling open a door by a handle or pushing using the palm of their hand? Congratulations, you've scooped up other people's poo germs. How many cleaners bother to clean door handles regularly? Hardly any.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep...

I recently got taught how to wash my hands by a friend who works for the NHS - I'm 37, so thought something along the lines of "patronising cow, I know full well how to wash my hands." which was shortly followed by a "how has no-one bothered to teach me this, I'm 37 and have only just learned how to wash my hands properly."

I had a similar moment when a new dental hygenist taught me how to clean my teeth at the age of about 29.

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Unhappy

on the flip side, those auto-dodgy-matic sinks don't exactly make a proper wash easy, either.

(grr.. I hate those things, nothing ruins your self-esteem for the day like being declared unworthy by a machine)

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Mushroom

ever wondered how our parents and grandparents before them (even unto the 4th generation) survived ?

If you kill all the bacteria on your skin you'll get skin diseases pretty damn quickly - there used to be a name for it - some syndrome or other and it is EXTREMELY unhealthy to be obsessively clean if you don't need to be. Personally - I was taught not to wee on my hands

Since most of you don't work in sterile conditions - you don't need to be obsessing about being sterile.

A bit of dirt and several billion bugs are good for you a lack of either is already known to be bad for you

Is this the next stupid alarmism ?

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed, what the fuck is that about - all public toilets seem to require pulling a handle to exit - wtf?

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, yes, furthermore MRSA is actually full of vitamins, the old buggers should be PAYING us to smear poo on their hospital wards.

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'Soap AND warm water is needed for at least 10 seconds of vigourous rubbing after doing a wee'

Unless you have something significantly wrong with you such as a UTI, your pee will be sterile. Obviously it's good manners to wash your hands properly after peeing, but it's a far smaller deal than putting down the toilet lid before flushing from a bacterial perspective.

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Anonymous Coward

but.. butt..

"Personally - I was taught not to wee on my hands"

Aha - but were you told to keep your hands out of the way of a number one? Obvious gap there (take that any way you want - boom boom).

The bugs in faeces are *not* good for you, and you find in many cultures taboos that emerge to originate in primitive hygiene. Example; you never shake someone's left hand in some Asian countries, especially if you're inland. It appears a taboo, but the background is actually sanitary - I don't think you need much help working out what that left hand is used for. Quite unfortunate for left handed people, btw.

It's also a standard disruption tactic by special forces to let some faeces "develop" before spreading the good news and get everyone rather serously ill. We all have bio warfare tools built in - some just need a good curry.

I'll have obsessively clean over "missed my annual bath twice" any time. And don't try to shake hands with me.

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Unhappy

all public toilets seem to require pulling a handle to exit.

But consider the alternative - outside there's a rather confused person who's breaking his neck for a piss but can't work out why simply staggering into the door doesn't work. Not only do you risk braining him with the door as you shoulder-charge it to open it without sullying your freshly-scrubbed hands, there's also the risk that he might piss all over you in shock.

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Baden-Powell

"Example; you never shake someone's left hand in some Asian countries"

What!!! But is the scouts they told us that B-P said you shake hands with the left hand because you had to put down your shield to shake hands, you mean.....

:

wait for it....

:

You'll never guess what I'm going to say...

:

It's all a load of crap!

Mine's the one covered in dib-dib-dib

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Holmes

Tide of Filth

I'm surprised it isn't more than 1 in 6 - at least it's likely to be your own poop-flora unless you have some genuinely bizarre phone habits. In fact probably a good way of deterring muggers - "well you can have it but you'd better go over it with bleach..."

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Tests a few years ago found that about 50 % of people on their way to work have shit on their hands.

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Silver badge

and way over 50% of all politicians

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Anonymous Coward

Sink next to the toilet

Here's what puzzles me about toilets - why are the sinks almost always far away from the toilet and not right next to it?

Think about it, you do your business, pull up your clothes, tighten belts, buttons etc. then walk out and to the sink, leaving bacteria on your clothes because you couldn't wash your hands before pulling them up.

But on the other hand, living in an environment that's too clean may not be beneficial to your immune system.

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Coat

I for one am glad ....

... that they are getting to the bottom of this.

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Anonymous Coward

While I do wash my hands, I sometimes think its a bit pointless if the person who grabbed the door handles before you hasn't :(

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Playing angry birds on the toilet?

Do lots of people really do that?

I thought it was only me.

Doesn't surprise me that brummies don't wash their hands.

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Boffin

No, Steve . . .

brummies just play with angry birds a lot.

nK

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HMB
Bronze badge

So When's the Excessive Hygeine Story coming?

You know, the story that we are all far too hygienic and that's why serious allergies and auto immune diseases are on the rise?

Also, how do you know that when I wash my hands, pulling the handle on the door doesn't re contaminate my hands with e.coli from the last dirty person?

Uh...

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Anonymous Coward

Somewhat alarmist

The focus on the statistic of "82 per cent of hands had bacteria on them." is somewhat misleading.

Humans are NOT sterile, we harbour bacteria both in our gut and on our skin, we have various Streptococcal and Staphylococcal species among others, in our nose, ears, mouth etc.

Under normal conditions they do not threaten our health or lead to disease.

The incidence of faecal indicator bacteria, now that part is a little alarming, if not a huge surprise. Cleaning ones hands after using the bathroom is highly recommended.

Attempting to maintain sterility of your skin is futile and the kinds of detergents necessary to go down that route would be harmful in the quantities and frequency of application required.

Just my 2 cents.

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Megaphone

NO...

...I DO NOT want to borrow your phone.

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Boffin

Can you send these boffins with clearly too much time on the ... erm ... hands over to my office to check for:

- Faecal matter on the coffee machine (not to mention mold)

- Faecal matter on the office phones, upholstery, keyboards, door handles, LAN cables and routers, office floor mats (DEFINITELY OFFICE FLOOR MATS) and possibly the CPU fans.

I'm sure there will be SURPRISES.

But I can exhort my cow-orkers to wash hand all day, to no avail.

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J 3
Happy

I can exhort my cow-orkers

Was that on purpose? I hope it was, because I will adopt that spelling from now on.

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cow-orkers

That joke is hardly hot-off-the-press. Google it.

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Coat

6th of Britain's cellphones have traces of poo on them

What? the run symbian?

De dum cha!

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Anonymous Coward

It's all well and good washing your hands

but then you have to deal with a door handle covered in the shitty fingerprints of those soap-dodgers who went before

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Meh

Yawn

And in other news there is more harmful gunk currently residing in your mouth than in your bum.

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