American 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.
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.