Is your touchscreen device making you sick
October 28, 2012 4 Comments
Interesting piece in the WSJ about how your smartphone or Ipad harbors tons of harmful bacteria, yet there’s no approved method of actually cleaning and disinfecting the thing. I discovered this after an extensive internet search a few months back when Alex had a stomach bug and vomited on his Ipad (fortunately, it was unharmed). I was hoping that this article would say that there’s no some consensus on how to safely disinfect the devices. But, sadly, no. This is absolutely ridiculous:
“People are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from handles of the bathroom,” says Dr. Cain of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“These are the unintended consequences of new technology that we haven’t seen before so we don’t know all the risks yet,” he says.
Phone companies caution against using most household cleaners—which can leave phone owners like Ms. Evitt in a bind.
“It’s really problematic because a lot of manufacturers don’t tell you what coating is on the phone,” says Dr. Schmidt. “It’s hard to tell if an alcohol wipe will strip the oil-repellant coating and damage the phone screen.” Screenmaker Gorilla Glass, a provider to more than a dozen smartphone brands, says one of its screens has an easy-to-clean coating that will “survive repeated wiping.”
An Apple spokeswoman directed a reporter to the customer manual, which explicitly forbids the use of “window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia or abrasives.” …
Derek Meister, a tech support agent from retailer Best Buy’s Geek Squad, suggests a UV disinfectant wand as the best cleaning solution because its light rays kill germs without touching the phone. Creators of a new product called PhoneSoap say it uses UV-C light to clean the phone while charging it, and that the device will begin shipping to consumers in January 2013.
Seriously? There’s not a single chemical that actually kills germs but is safe for a touch-screen? Is this some sort of crazy conspiracy?