Your Smartphone is an Allergen Haven

According to a recent study conducted by a high school student who is 18 years old, the smartphone you are holding could be causing your allergies.

Hana Ruran of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, discovered in a science fair project that cat and dog allergens, bacteria, and fungi are frequently detected on telephones.

“I always have my phone with me. I always have it in my hand. Hana Ruran, a senior at Hopkinton High School and the study’s author, stated, “I never put it down for anything. And I suffer from numerous allergies. I recently developed an interest in action that will impact me.

The bottom line: Cleaning your phone’s surface is a smart idea, especially if you suffer from allergies.

The study will be presented Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“The findings shows exposure to innate immune-reaction-inducing chemicals and inhalant allergens from a source most people haven’t considered, “Ruran’s mentor and study co-author Peter Thorne stated in a press release from the ACAAI.

“To reduce exposure to these allergens and asthma triggers, people with allergies or asthma may want to consider cleaning their smartphones more frequently, suggested Thorne, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health in Iowa City.

In order to conduct the study, the researchers used 15 volunteers and phone simulators that accurately represented the shape and size of a genuine phone. Electrostatic wipes were used by each participant to clean the models. For a week, the volunteers performed this multiple times each day.

The wipes were examined in Thorne’s lab to see what had been taken.

The researchers discovered increased and inconsistent quantities of something known as -D glucans (BDG). These can affect the airways and are a sign of mould. Variable amounts of endotoxin, a kind of bacteria, were also discovered by Ruran and Thorne.

They varied depending on the phone, but Ruran noted that they were extremely common.

Numerous cat and dog allergies were found on the phones of pet owners, but Ruran said that pet allergens were also detected on the phones of persons who did not disclose having domestic pets.

In an effort to find a product that could remove the germs, fungi, and allergies from the phone, she also tried other items.

Depending on whether the user was washing their phone for an allergy, a fungus, or a germ, Ruran discovered that some harder-to-access chemicals performed better. For lowering BDG and endotoxin, they incorporated a chlorhexidine/cetylpyridinium combination. The optimum combination of benzyl benzoate and tannic acid for decreasing cat and dog allergies.

Wipes made of isopropyl alcohol also worked, but not as well, according to Ruran. Using a dry cloth to wipe didn’t help.

According to the 2018 U.S. Census, smartphones are present in about 85% of American households. About 14 billion times a day, people view their phones, according to the study’s authors.

Allergens are present everywhere, according to Dr. Payel Gupta, an allergist and medical director for LifeMD in New York City. But she questioned whether the phone cases had various textures, some of which would be more adept at grabbing onto particles.

“It’s crucial to keep in mind that allergens can adhere to our hair. They are able to cling to our clothes. They can adhere to our footwear. Naturally, it follows that they may adhere to our phones, phone covers, and other items of that nature, according to Gupta, who was not engaged in the study.

However, according to Gupta, allergists do not want their patients to worry excessively about this.

People who experience seasonal allergies can benefit themselves at certain times of the year by removing their shoes before entering from the outside, according to Gupta. They can wash their hands and change their clothes.

In light of this study, Gupta suggested that you wash your phone cases and research potential safe cleaning methods for your phone’s screen.

If you have severe allergies, Gupta advised taking a shower as soon as you enter the house, but definitely before bed so that you can wash your hair if any allergens are present.

Gupta suggested that you should dust with a damp cloth rather than a dry one if you have a dust mite allergy, which is actually an allergy to the mites’ faeces. To get rid of the dust mite droppings, wash your linens in hot water once a week.

She advised those who use smartphones without frequently cleaning them to try to avoid touching their eyes shortly after doing so.

Gupta added, “Especially if your allergies do impair your eyes.”

Meanwhile, Ruran claimed that she is now slightly more aware of any toxins that her phone might be picking up.

The environment and how we might be able to enhance it by creating something innovative that could help lessen exposures are two things that truly fascinate me in research, said Ruran. It prompts me to consider my phone a little bit more.”

Still, “She said, “I’m not sure if I’m still excellent about cleaning my phone.

Up until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal, findings presented at medical symposia should be taken as preliminary.

Information about

For additional information on allergies, see the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

SOURCES: Hana Ruran, a high school student from Massachusetts; Payel Gupta, MD, FACAAI, medical director at LifeMD in New York City; and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s annual scientific meeting, taking place in Louisville, Kentucky, from Nov. 10 to 14, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *