As if protecting ourselves from the deadly coronavirus weren’t reason enough, here is yet another important reason to wash our hands thoroughly and often.
Harmful flame retardants may be lurking on your hands and cell phone, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
The researchers found that halogenated flame retardants added to plastic TV cases can move from the TV to indoor air and dust, to hands, and then to cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices. Once on your cell phone, that surface provides an ongoing source of exposure to these chemicals each time you touch your cell phone.
“It’s well-known that viruses are transferred between surfaces and hands,” said co-author Miriam Diamond, a Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto. “Our study shows that toxic chemicals like flame retardants do the same. That’s another reason we should all wash our hands often and well.”