One in six mobile phones in Britain is contaminated with faecal matter, ScienceDaily reported Saturday.
According to new research released ahead of Global Handwashing Day, the most likely reason for the potentially harmful bacteria festering on so many gadgets is people failing to wash their hands properly with soap after going to the toilet.
The findings of the UK-wide study by scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London also reveal a tendency among Britons to lie about their hygiene habits, the report said.
Although 95 per cent of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, 92 per cent of phones and 82 per cent of hands had bacteria on them. Worryingly, 16 per cent of hands and 16 per cent of phones were found to harbor E. coli - bacteria of a faecal origin.
Harmful E. coli (Escherichia coli) is associated with stomach upsets and has been implicated in serious cases of food poisoning such as the fatal O157 outbreak in Germany in June.