The Dirtiest Place in the Office


The Dirtiest Place in OfficeAmerican scientist Charles Gerba from Arizona University believes that typical office equipment, such as phones, keyboards, and mice can present a serious danger to the health of people working with it. According to the results of the study conducted by Gerba, some desktops are hundreds times dirtier than the public washrooms. For instance, a mouse which hasn’t been cleaned for a few weeks can contain up to 1676 germs per square inch, while the same area on the keyboard will host around 3300 microbes.

The “dirtiest” place in the office is the phone. Because of regular phone calls, meetings with colleagues, visitors or clients a square inch on the number buttons can contain up to 25127 bacteria.

Every square inch of an average office contains almost 21 000 microbes.

Compare those numbers with the ones received from examining washrooms of the same offices; it turned out that washrooms are 400 times cleaner and contain only 50 germs per square inch.

Here’re some numbers for comparison:

  • Phone: 25,127;
  • Desktop: 20,961;
  • Computer Keyboard: 3,295;
  • Computer Mouse: 1,676;
  • Toilet seat: 49.

The scientist stresses that the micro-organisms transmitting viral illnesses, such as flu, can survive on various surfaces in the office for three days. At the same time coffee-spills, crumbs of food, and dirty cups left on the table present great environment for the microbes to grow and reproduce. The solution for this problems is easy to guess: regular disinfection should do the trick and kill the microbes. Such a simple procedure as wiping the phones and keyboards with alcohol will kill 99% of the germs on them.


  1. I’m worried for the nowadays obsession for cleaning. Are you recommending that an office must be like an hospital? On TV every day we are bombarded with cleaning products, antibacterial products and so on. And our society have a cleaning obsession.

    That is why we have so many allergies. It has been proven that babies that are not in contact with dust and microbes then are more likely to get illnesses and allergies, and their immunological system is weaker.

    Bacterials and microbes have lived together with people from long time ago in peace. Only when there’s hungry because of wars or because proverty then we have epidemics. And in the developed countries is because we eat too much, and too bad.

    It’s not bad to be ill sometimes, it makes our immunity system to react and keep alive.

    If you have a healthy diet your immunity system will answer properly. Don’t need to disinfect everything we touch! We couldn’t go out home otherwise!

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