Micro-organisms on mobile devices: the facts - Addmaster

Micro-organisms on mobile devices: the facts

Paul Willocks
Marketing Manager (Addmaster)
Micro-organisms on mobile devices: the facts

The typical mobile phone carries over 25,000 bacteria per square inch. This is dirtier than a kitchen counter (1,736 bacteria per square inch), your dog’s food bowl (2,110 bacteria per square inch) and the common doorknob (8,643 bacteria per square inch).

One of the reasons our phones are so dirty is the heat they produce. Warm environments are where bacteria thrive. Your phone has its own heat-producing mechanisms and you are adding to its warm environment by holding the device in your hands or storing it in your pocket.

Faecal matter can be found on one out of every six smartphones, according to a 2011 study by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Faecal bacteria can survive on hands and surfaces for several hours.

The same study found that 16% of phones sampled were found to have E. coli present. These bacteria can live in the intestines and be transferred via faecal matter. They cause ailments such as food poisoning, diarrhoea, or occasionally more serious illness.

Streptococcus, a bacterium often found on mobile devices, is the source of strep throat, an illness more common in children, and can also cause scarlet fever, impetigo, toxic shock syndrome, or necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease.

Another common strain found on mobile phones is Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria can be harmful depending upon the strain and certain kinds are responsible for skin infections. 

The bacterial strain Corynebacterium found on phones is responsible mainly for Diphtheria and can also cause skin infections, pneumonia and endocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

Mobile phones carry a greater risk in particularly germ-heavy environments. Healthcare workers can easily pick up disease-producing microbes including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on their gloved or ungloved hands and then transfer it onto their mobile phone.

The point of mobile technology is that you can take it everywhere, including some less-than-sanitary environments - the bathroom, for example. When toilets flush, they spread germs. In the bathroom, there will also be other people’s germs on the seat, flush handle or button and toilet roll holder and cubicle door. 

Respiratory infections spread easily, transmitted through droplets from someone else’s coughs and sneezes and most can survive outside the body. If you use a mobile phone that has influenza virus on it and touch your eye or wipe your mouth, you can become infected too.

The solution

Biomaster can be easily introduced into almost any mobile device offering effective, durable product protection against harmful bacteria.

Biomaster is used in thousands of applications - just about anywhere that has the potential to harbour bacteria and increase the likelihood of infection.

For example, Biomaster is used in mobile phone glass screen protectors, protective cases and in mobile device and tablet chargers widely used in hospitals. 

It is also used in graphic overlays found on any type of equipment or gadget that has a user interface, for example, fascias for industrial controls, access control systems, medical equipment, household appliances and security systems. They are more resistant against dirt and liquids than ordinary keypads and easy to wipe clean, which makes them a popular solution in hygiene-critical environments.

Biomaster is added to the product during the manufacturing process. Easily incorporated into any plastic or coating, it becomes an integral part of the item. 

The active ingredient is inorganic and non-leaching, so it stays within the item and doesn’t leach out. 

We can develop an antimicrobial solution for your product, including testing, in as little as four weeks.

Find out more about Biomaster HERE

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