The phone earpieces you wear while you’re using your cell phone may not be as effective as they used to be.
A study by researchers at the University of Illinois has found that a cell phone disinfectant can reduce the bacteria and viruses that can cause ear infections.
The study, published online this week in the journal Cell, found that one batch of the disinfectant used in the study, which was designed to prevent ear infections, was about twice as effective at reducing ear infections as another version of the product.
“The study demonstrated that a commercially available disinfectant that is approved for use in the United States can be a more effective and more environmentally friendly disinfectant than previously thought,” said study author Jonathan J. Whelan, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
The disinfectant, which is produced by Chemicon, is designed to help prevent ear-causing bacteria from getting into the ear.
The company also developed an ear cleaning product called the Cellphone Cleaner.
Whelan and his colleagues studied two cell phone cleaning products made by Chemistix, which sells for about $60 a pop, and another, the CellPhone Cleaner, for about a dollar a pop.
Chemistikix and CellphoneCleaner are both approved for the use of cell phones by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The CellPhoneCleaner, the study authors said, is the most expensive and least effective of the two products.
The cell phone cleaner is a liquid that is sprayed onto a cotton pad.
The liquid is applied to the ear canal and then cleaned with a cotton swab.
When the cleaning liquid is removed from the ear, it is sprayed again onto the cotton pad and cleaned again.
Chemistix has received a patent for the Cell Phone Cleaner since 2007.
“We wanted to find out if we could make a commercially viable product that would be a better alternative to our previous products,” said Whelans co-author Ryan J. Feltner, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering.
“It’s kind of like a new generation of cell phone purification.
If you think about it, the cells in your ear can be infected and you want to protect your ear.”
Whelans lab is a research affiliate of the University at Buffalo.
He also serves as a visiting professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
He earned his PhD in electrical engineering from the University.
The new study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.