Study suggests smartphones covered in allergens could be making us sick

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We already know how dirty our smartphones are, but one study suggests it’s making us sick.

According to a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in the US, smartphones showed elevated levels of allergens that include cat and dog dander, fungus, and other bacterial toxins.

That’s a huge problem, seeing as most people touch their phones an average of 2,617 times a day. For heavy users, that number balloons to 5,417 times a day.

Touching our face, eyes, nose, and mouth after we touch our phones is one of the more common ways the allergens are transmitted to us. The researchers of the study recommend cleaning our smartphones regularly to reduce the risk of allergies and asthma. Of course, it goes without saying that washing our hands is also one way to lessen the risk.

How to properly clean your smartphones

Apart from washing our hands, one way to minimize the risk of allergies and asthma (and let’s not forge COVID-19), is to regularly clean our smartphones.

Most manufacturers recommend using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75 percent ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.

A mixture of 40 percent rubbing alcohol and 60 percent water also works. Spray it on a soft lint-free cloth and gently wipe your phone. To be safe, make sure the phone is unplugged and powered off, and avoid any opening. And then air dry.

If you have a UV sanitizer, you can use that after using wipes. It’s proven to work on the coronavirus, as well as germs, viruses, and bacteria.

Remember to avoid excessive wiping as these cleaning methods can wear out the oil-repellant oleophobic coating of your devices, so keep that in mind.

Also, don’t forget to wash your silicone or plastic case with soap and water. Make sure it is completely dry before putting it back on your phone.

Image: Robin Worral of Unsplash

Bryan is a tech enthusiast and self-admitted geek who enjoys writing about tech and watching clips on YouTube. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations from different industries such as telecommunications and banking.

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