updated 12:15 pm EDT, Fri October 15, 2010
Study says touchscreens help spread illness
A recently published study from the Journal of Applied Microbiology came back to light today in an interview late Thursday discussing the risks of getting sick from touchscreen devices. Stanford University PhD student Tim Julian noted that about 30 percent of the bacteria, viruses and other organisms on a surface are picked up on contact, making the iPad, iPhone and Android devices more likely to spread illnesses. He explained to the Sacramento Bee that the issue mostly becomes acute when owners share their devices, which can be more common with touch displays.
Such situations can be particular problems in Apple stores and phone stores, where an abundance of touchscreen devices exist that have been repeatedly touched by others.
Julian and others recommended that the simplest solutions would be to avoid sharing a device unless needed and to wash hands frequently to clear away any bacteria. He hasn't quantified the risk in everyday use versus non-touch devices or for being more cautious, but he also didn't raise any extra concerns even about his own use of a Motorola Droid.