Your smartphone is dirtier than the toilet flush handle in a men’s restroom—18 times dirtier, to be exact. A new study shows that “personal touch-screen devices” are one of the best places to pick up germs, joining other fomites (frequently handled objects) that often spread illness, like handrails, computer keyboards, elevator buttons, and ATMs. If there’s a virus on the surface of such a device, one researcher tells the Sacramento Bee, about 30% of it will get on your fingers.
But don’t worry: No one wants you to touch their germy smartphone, anyway, but not because of germ worries: Says one nurse, who acknowledges carrying her phone all around her job, “I don't share my phone. I don't want anybody dropping it. The screen is so fragile.” Even one of the researchers is more worried about giving people access to his personal information than giving them the flu. If you’re really concerned, the market for sanitizing screen wipes and antimicrobial cases is apparently growing.