Huge news from the Wall Street Journal: Your smartphone is downright disgusting.

Is this really surprising though, considering all the hand-holding and face touching your phone does and all the places it goes- from the gym, the loo, the floor, to your restaurant table – all without ever being properly cleaned?  

As one of the greatest germ carriers of the 21st century, your smartphone can give you, and the people you know, all sorts of nasty illnesses, like the flu, diarrhea, and even pinkeye.

See all those greasy smears on your screen? That’s where the germs live.

“People are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from handles of the bathroom,” Jeffrey Cain, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and chief of family medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado told the Journal.

This revelation of phone filthiness is not new, but the problem seems to have gotten worse. A 2011 study of 390 phones in Britain revealed one in six phones had fecal matter on them.

But a recent study done by HML Labs of Muncie, Ind., found every single one of the phones they tested randomly in a Chicago office “showed abnormally high numbers of coliforms, a bacteria indicating fecal contamination.” Dr. Donald Hendrickson, the president of HML Labs, put it mildly when he called these results “pretty bad.” (Ed. note: Does this say more about Chicagoans than about smartphones? Sorry.)

Anyway, yuck. As our own Jon Mitchell suggested in May, make sure to have a designated wiping and browsing hand while smartphoning on the toilet, and NEVER EVER EVER interchange the two. Also, always wash your hands before exiting the bathroom. 

Cleaning your smartphone isn’t as easy as washing your hands, however. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, both BlackBerry and Apple “explictily forbid” using “window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia or abrasives” to clean your phone. 

Also, if you live in Chicago, come on people. We can do better.