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Under the Microscope: Everyday Items
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Flu season means many of us are now extra conscious of keeping surfaces clean. But just how icky are the things we touch on a regular basis?
Local 15 tested a newsroom phone, a station cell phone and newsroom remote control. We took them to the University of Mobile to be tested. Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Larissa Walker collected samples and put them into petri dishes. Days later we went back to see the results.
"What's on the desk phone?" asked Local 15's Andrea Ramey.
"This fuzzy colony is probably a mold species," replied Walker.
"So mold and staph on the desk phone," asked Ramey.
"Big combination on the desk phone," said Walker.
The remote control also had staph present.
"That's pretty much what we expected. Just skin microbes," said Walker.
And how about that station cell phone?
"We did see something suspicious on the iPhone. So potentially, even though it's not a lot. We do see some bacteria that could be from a fecal source," said Walker.
"Eeeeew! That's disgusting!" said Ramey.
"It is really easy to transfer these microbes," said Walker.
Walker says a good way to avoid getting them on your phone is to never take it into the bathroom.
"Anything that goes in to the restroom of course has the potential to carry things out of the restroom. No matter how clean you imagine we are, the microbes are in the air, they're on the counters, sinks, things like this. So it's actually very easy to carry things like that out," said Walker.
Local 15 News also tested baby items. We'll share the results Thursday night at 10.