Consumer Alert: Are you allergic to your cell phone?

Suffer from allergies? Make sure you clean your cell phone

Suffer from allergies? Make sure you clean your cell phone

In this Consumer Alert, I’m posing a question to allergy sufferers: Could your phone be making you sneeze?

There was an interesting study a few years ago in which a company put an app on the smartphones of 100 people. The app registered every time they touched their phones.  The average number was 2,617 times a day!

Now consider this study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. It suggests that your phone collects a host of allergens from pet dander to fungi. The study found elevated levels of cat and dog dander as well as well as evidence of fungi and toxic bacteria found in the environment.

The researchers concluded that people with allergies or asthma should clean their smart phones frequently — at least daily, perhaps more. So, I reached out to tech experts AT&T for recommendations on the best way to clean your phone.

“You want to avoid anything that has something like pure alcohol,” said Nicky Nieves, AT&T’s New York City Director of Sales. “Avoid anything like Dial dish soap, spraying it right on the device. You can use 70 percent alcohol, a nice little Lysol wipe, let it air dry.”

If you remove your phone first, experts say cleaning your case with soap and water is great. And while ultraviolet light does kill germs, the jury is still out on how effective it is against allergens.

Rochester has earned the moniker of The Flower City, and it seems everything is blooming in the spring. So allergy suffers, just as you bathe and wash your hair to remove pollen, you must remember to always clean that little device in your hands as well.