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Study: Smartphones May Contain Elevated Levels of Allergens

A new study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggests that smartphones contain high levels of cat and dog allergens, as well as β-D glucans (BDG) and endotoxin.

For this study, the researchers created phone models that had a similar size and surface to a real smartphone, and the front surface of the model was wiped as part of the test. Electrostatic wipes (ESW) were used to sample simulated phone models of 15 volunteer participants and the “phones” were then measured for allergens, BDG, and endotoxin levels.

Lead author of the study Hana Ruran says: “Smartphones showed elevated and variable levels of BDG and endotoxin, and cat and dog allergens were found on smartphones of pet owners. BDGs are found in fungal cell walls and have been found in many environments and surfaces causing chronic airway and irritant symptoms — making BDGs a consistent marker to study problematic mold. Endotoxin is a potent inflammatory agent and a marker of exposure to Gram-negative bacteria.”

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