Smartphone surface flooded with beta-D glucans, allergens, endotoxins

Smartphone surface flooded with beta-D glucans, allergens, endotoxins

10 November 2022

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Ruran HB, et al. Innovative compound to reduce newly discovered allergens, beta-D glucans and endotoxins on smartphones. Presented at: ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting; November 10-14, 2022; Louisville, Q.

The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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Louisville, Q. Elevated levels of beta-D glucans, allergens and endotoxins can be found on smartphone surfaces, according to a poster presented at the American College of Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting.

Although various cleaners can be effective in removing these environmental hazards, hana b. Ruran, A research intern at Boston Children’s Hospital and student at Hopkinton High School, and colleagues write in the abstract.

woman using smartphone

Smartphone surfaces are full of beta-D glucans, allergens, and endotoxins, but many cleaners are effective at reducing them. Source: Adobe Stock

“Smartphones showed high and variable levels of [beta-D glucans (BDG)] and endotoxin, and cat and dog allergies were found on the pet owners’ smartphones,” Ruran said in an ACAAI press release.

“BDG is found in fungal cell walls and in many environments and surfaces, causing chronic airway and irritating symptoms, making BDG a consistent marker to study problematic molds,” said Ruran.

Endotoxins are potent inflammatory agents and markers of risk gram-negative bacteria At the same time, Ruran continued.

Researchers used electrostatic wipes on the phones of 15 volunteers three times a day for 7 days and measured them for allergens, BDG and endotoxin levels.

Their findings showed “high and variable” levels of BDG and endotoxin, including levels known to cause allergic and respiratory symptoms. In addition, the researchers found that cat and dog allergies occurred mostly on the phones of pet owners, although one phone had dust mites and cat allergens even though the owner of that phone had no pets.

Next, the researchers performed a cleaning intervention using wipes on the simulated phone models.

Cleaning wipes containing 70% isopropyl alcohol and Clorox (Procter & Gamble) non-bleach (0.184% benzyl and ethyl benzyl ammonium chloride), which are commercially available; and 0.12% chlorhexidine, 0.05% cetylpyridinium, 3% benzyl benzoate and 3% tannic acid, which are only available in these concentrations through laboratory or chemical suppliers. Wipes not using any solution were used as controls.

Wipes in combination with chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium versus control wipes showed a significant reduction in BDG (mean, 269 versus 1,925 ng per wipe; P <.05) and endotoxin (mean, 349 versus 1,320 EU per wipe; P <.001), the researchers found.

In addition, there was a significant reduction in cat (mean 55 versus 1,550 ng per wipe; P <.001) and dog (mean, 14 versus 407 ng per wipe; P <.001) allergy with a combination of benzyl benzoate and tannic acid versus controls, the researchers continued.

The researchers noted that the combination mixture solutions had the greatest reduction compared to the controls.

“Studies demonstrate exposure to inhalant allergens and molecules that trigger innate immune responses from a source that most people have not considered,” Peter s. Thorne, PhD, professor at the University of Iowa’s Department of Public Health, said in the press release. “If you have allergies or asthma, you may want to think about cleaning your smartphone more often to reduce your risk of these allergy and asthma triggers.”


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