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What’s Cleaner, Your Cell Phone or a Toilet Seat?

New York City Experiments With Cell Phone Service In Subway System
Mario Tama, Getty Images

Sure, you have a really awesome collection of ringtones and a spiffy, cool case, but your cell phone is probably dirtier than a toilet seat.

According Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, cell phones may carry 10 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. How? Potties are traditionally filthy places — but because they’re so dirty, they’re cleaned rather often (unless you really have to go and you manage to find that one gas station bathroom in the middle of nowhere that hasn’t been cleaned since 1963). On the other hand, your cell phone, after being touched dozens of times a day, placed on restaurant and public tables, and taken different places rarely receives a good cleaning, allowing germs to grow and grow. In fact, your cell phone could be as cruddy as a remote control in a hotel room.

With that in mind, enjoy your Labor Day barbecue.

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