Is Your Cell Phone Dirty? - A NewsChannel 11 Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/5/08

Is Your Cell Phone Dirty? - A NewsChannel 11 Investigation

Have you ever cleaned your phone?  "No," said one woman.  "No, I don't," said another.

It is probably one of the few items you might never clean. So, where has it been? Better yet, what kind of germs and bacteria are living on your cell phones? We wanted to find out. NewsChannel 11 swabbed ear pieces, mouth pieces and keypads of 18 different cell phones.

These are phones that belong to people who work in sales, like Bobbye Maxey who works at NewsChannel 11. "I do a lot of handshaking. I have a lot of animals at my house," said Bobbye.

We also swabbed the phones of people who work at daycares. "There's a lot of boogers and pee," said Meagan Hitch, a daycare worker. Another daycare worker Kendall Winfield says her cell phone becomes her child's toy when she gets home from work. "I let my babies drool on it and play with it," she said.

We even tested phones from people who work in hospitals, a place where cleanliness is a must.  "Have you ever thought what could be lurking on your phone?" asked NewChannel 11.  "I've thought about it a lot," said Joe Sasin, UMC Emergency Medical Director.

We swabbed phones that belong to teenagers. "I text constantly," said Stephanie Spicer a freshman at Frenship High School. "I use it all the time to talk to my friends and girlfriend," said Alex Sanchez, a junior at FHS. We even found a ten year-old girl's phone to swab.

We chose our group based on their age and job because as you just heard, each person comes into contact with many different things that could pass to your phone and ultimately make you sick.

And news people are no different. "This is our station phone.  It's very dirty," said Cecelia Jones. Four more KCBD employees were in on this test too. From producers to our News Director Benji Snead, every single volunteer was curious to see how dirty their cell phones might be.

UMC Medical Technologist Kevin Willingham gave us the swabs. He's also going to test them for us inside the UMC laboratory.

"What do you think about our investigation into finding out what type of stuff might be on our phones?" we asked him. "I've thought about it a lot here lately now that you have mentioned it. I even tested my own phone. I'm thinking the text messaging that kids are doing a lot here lately, the test will pick up staph that is significant," said Willingham.

So, here they are eighteen petri dishes. Could it be that we picked up a dangerous bacteria? Which cell phone is the dirtiest? 

We'll have the results this Thursday night on NewsChannel 11 at 10.

NewsChannel 11 Investigates
NewsChannel 11 is digging deeper than just the news of the day, bringing you stories that no one else will do.  We have discovered some things in Lubbock you should know about.  See what Cecelia Jones has uncovered.

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