Do not take your smartphone into the bathroom!

We prefer to have our smartphone with us at all times. But we shouldn’t put it in one place: the bathroom. A hygiene expert explains why.

While we shower, we listen to music on our smartphones, in the toilet we check the latest WhatsApp messages and while brushing our teeth we click through the latest news: the cell phone doesn’t even seem to be missing in the bathroom. However, you should declare the quiet place to be a restricted zone in the future, because it can get pretty gross. Constanze Wendt, a specialist in hygiene and microbiology from the Medical Care Center in Heidelberg, explains why this is so, to TECHNOLOGY BUTTON.

Bacteria and germs

There are lots of water and dirt particles lurking in the bathroom, which are buzzing around and spreading in the air. “The germs and bacteria that are in our intestines and on our skin are in our bathroom,” explains hygiene expert Constanze Wendt. If the smartphone is in the bathroom, exactly these bacteria can settle on the device. These can be bacteria such as E. coli that come from our intestines. “If you have E. coli on your hands and then pick up your cell phone, these bacteria are on your smartphone,” says Wendt.

Bacteria and germs can make us sick – so is it dangerous to take a cell phone into the bathroom? “We have ten times more bacteria on our skin than our body has cells,” says Wendt. Therefore, bacteria are not dangerous to us per se, they are even part of our body.

Be careful what you touch

But: Every time we check our smartphone for new messages, we also touch the display – including all of the bacteria living on it. Especially when smartphone users do not wash their hands or touch their cell phones after using the toilet, these bacteria stick to the screen. “That is not a health hazard, but a disgusting factor,” says Wendt. The risk does not increase in public toilets. However, caution should be exercised in one toilet: the public toilet in the hospital. “There can be resistant germs there,” warns the expert. This could actually have serious health consequences for the body.

The problem with the cell phone in the bathroom is generally not the smartphone itself, but a lack of hygiene. “Washing hands is the best way to fight germs and bacteria,” says Wendt. Therefore – as in many other life situations – the following should apply: Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly! Then you can continue to touch your cell phone without hesitation, without any disgust.

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