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Why using your smartphone in the toilet isn’t a good idea

Many people use their smartphones while sitting on the toilet. While in the past people used to read a few pages of a book, newspaper or magazine, now many just take their smartphones to the toilet and scroll through Facebook feeds and check WhatsApp messages.

Germ experts however warn that using your smartphone in the toilet isn’t a very good idea. In fact it is a very bad idea. They warn that it is probably the most unsanitary thing you can do.

BuzzFeed contacted two germ experts, Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of microbiology, and Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental health, at the University of Arizona, for their thoughts on toilet mobile browsing.

What they said will certainly make you stop using your smartphone in the toilet.

“Bathrooms are covered in germs, pathogens, and enteric bacteria (from the intestinal tract), mostly from faecal matter,” Prof Gerba told BuzzFeed. The experts pointed out that the most contaminated surfaces are the door and toilet handles, the faucet, and the floor.

You can therefore recontaminate yourself by touching a germ-coated surface like the faucet or door knob even if you wash your hands.

While your bathroom might appear clean, in reality it isn’t. Reynolds told BuzzFeed: “When you flush the toilet, water with faeces and urine sprays about six feet in every direction.

“And the aerosols increase with every flush, so if it’s a public bathroom, there is dirty toilet water coating literally everything — especially the toilet paper dispenser, because it’s right next to the toilet bowl.”

Reynolds added that any surface that the aerosols settle on can transmit things between people, so every time you set your phone down, it becomes contaminated with germs and faecal matter. To make matters worse, Gerba said your phone could pick up whatever the last person placed on there, which could’ve been dirty toilet paper, used sanitary pads, etc.

And you risk putting all that dirty stuff in your mouth. Yes, that’s possible because you never wash your phone after using it in the toilet. By touching it and then touching your food, you will simply be putting all those germs right in your mouth.

BuzzFeed states it very clearly: “When you bring your phone to the bathroom, it’s like leaving without washing your hands.”

Well, now that you know how dangerous it is to bring your phone to the toilet, think twice before doing it again. After all, you can afford to spend those few minutes in the toilet without your smartphone. As Gerba told BuzzFeed, “If the bathroom is the root of the problem, the best solution is to keep your phone in your bag and away from the toilet.”