Everyone takes their smartphone and tablet in the toilet and think that it’s completely safe to do so, but according to a recent study, this habit increases the risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella. Here’s what Dr. Lisa Ackerly, a hygiene expert says: “If you wipe your bum then pick up your phone, you may as well not bother washing your hands because all the bacteria you put on your phone will end up back on your hands.”

Dr. Ron Cutler from the Queen Mary University in London agrees with her claim. “Basically, you just shouldn’t (take your phone into the toilet) if you are at all concerned about the transfer of viruses and fecal contamination.” He also says that the levels of contamination depend on the location of the toilet – you are more exposed to bacteria in public toilets where various viruses and bacteria are present.

Viruses aren’t only transferable by hands – spray from the toilet can transmit them as well. “Spray could travel around six feet from the flush,” Dr. Ackerley says. She recommends leaving your toothbrush in an enclosure as far away from the toilet as possible in order not to contaminate it with bacteria. The same goes for your phone, where the bacteria could stay for days! “Phones heat up a little bit giving bacteria a nice warm environment,” Dr. Cutler says. “If people handle sweets and leave a sticky coating on the phone, that’s an even better place for bacteria.” Knowing this, we’re sure you won’t take your phone with you in the toilet ever again, right?

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