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Torontonians are carrying pathogens where they least expect it: Their phones

Whether you live in a major city or commute into one frequently for work, chances are that you’re relying on public transportation for the journey. Canadian commuters embarked on 149.5 million passenger trips in June 2019, according to research from Statistics Canada.

And when we leave our homes, we’re no longer in control of our surroundings and the pathogens that may be present. It’s easy to disinfect surfaces at home, but harder in public areas.

The fact is that our phones are often an overlooked aspect of sanitization, resulting in the uncomfortable truth that mobile devices carry over 10 times more bacteria than a public restroom. 

Regular disinfection and hand hygiene are key to breaking the chain of infection, which is where sanitization devices like CleanSlate UV step in.

The research team at CleanSlate UV conducted a study at the UP Express platform at Toronto Union Station, to determine passengers’ phone contamination levels and investigate the efficacy of CleanSlate UV devices installed at the platform.

The team swabbed phones before and after using the CleanSlate UV sanitizer and sent the results to a lab for further testing. All participants volunteered to be a part of the study and were selected at random. 

Sanitization Results

The outcomes were eye opening. All the phones tested were contaminated with bacteria and 87.5% of them hosted germs classified as too many to count. Participants were carrying on with their lives, unaware that multiple bacteria colonies were living right in their pockets! 

This is clearly demonstrated in the image below; the dots in the petri dish represent bacteria.

One of the dishes tested with the ‘before’ swab

The phones were tested once again after running them through the CleanSlate UV sanitizers. After using CleanSlate, minimal bacteria was found on the phones, showing that CleanSlate UV can keep you safe and protected with a simple 20-second sanitization cycle.

A dish tested with the ‘after’ sanitization swab, displaying no bacteria formation

Metrolinx installed CleanSlate UV sanitizers as one of the over 40 safety measures they implemented across their system as a part of their Safety Never Stops program, a pandemic response to ensure everyone remains healthy. The machines provide customers a way to quickly and conveniently sanitize their mobile devices and other hand held items while on the go. When talking to the participants in the study, 92% of them felt more comfortable because of the installation of CleanSlate UV.

“Your phone is the third hand you never wash, and this study goes to show just how many pathogens live on devices we use frequently. CleanSlate UV provides a quick, safe, and effective method to sanitize everyday devices, ensuring you stay protected throughout the day,” said Kevin Truong, Senior Product Manager at CleanSlate UV.

CleanSlate UV is proud to be taking major strides toward a safer, sanitized travel experience.

About CleanSlate UV

CleanSlate UV was founded in 2014 with a mission to ensure no one gets sick from germs on mobile devices. The CleanSlate UV Sanitizer is a hospital-grade sanitizer that is simple, fast and effective, having been deployed in over 800 facilities worldwide, sanitizing over 40 million devices, in areas such as healthcare, retail, hospitality and education. The company is headquartered in Toronto, ON with offices in Buffalo, NY and partners worldwide. For more information, visit www.cleanslateuv.com

About Metrolinx

Metrolinx, an agency of the Government of Ontario, is responsible for implementing an integrated transportation network that connects communities across the region. While operating GO Transit, UP Express and PRESTO, Metrolinx’s mission is to get people where they need to go better, faster and easier.

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