Archive for Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One-third of men don’t wash after bathroom use

September 18, 2007


— The gender gap has widened when it comes to hygiene, according to the latest stakeout by the "hand washing police."

One-third of men didn't bother to wash after using the bathroom, compared with 12 percent of women, said the researchers who spy on people in public restrooms. They reported their latest findings Monday at a meeting of infectious disease scientists.

Two years ago, the last time the survey was done, only one-quarter of men didn't wash, compared with 10 percent of women.

"Guys need to step up to the sink," said Brian Sansoni, spokesman for the Soap and Detergent Association, which co-sponsors the survey and related education campaigns.

The latest study was based on observations last month of more than 6,000 people in four big cities.

Frequent hand washing is the single best thing people can do to avoid getting sick, from colds and the flu to germs lurking in food, doctors say. And a recent Harris Interactive survey found 92 percent of Americans said they always wash up after using the bathroom.

But researchers for the American Society for Microbiology found that only 77 percent actually do, when it comes to public restrooms. That's a 6 percent decline from a similar study in 2005.


GretchenJP 10 years ago

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

littlelawrencian 10 years ago

Gosh I have had a few good laughs reading the comments here this morning. I am a hand washer, as I become older I am much more aware of how easy it is to spread germs. Since I have become so diligent with the handwashing, say after I visit any public place and had to touch a bunch of door knobs etc., it has helped me avoid the flu. I noticed a big difference the last 2 years by trying to be so aware. Staying behind my elderly mother, making sure she is washing her hands enough is a full time job though. She just forgets so she can't help it and it seems that if she can't actually see the germ, it must not be there according to her. I have ecoli nightmares! Thank goodness for bleach water and good ole soap and water! I didn't realize how pet foods and fish food can contaminate your hands with salmonella if you handle the food and then put your hand in your mouth etc., afterwards. I have been watching WAY too much " How Clean is Your House" on BBC, sure get an education on cleaning watching that show!

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years ago

Anonymous writes: "Foregoing the TP, Cornholio?"

Time to set the record straight (as it appears that, in these forums, no self-disclosure goes unpunished).

I make only minimal use of public restrooms.

My visits can be summed up using only half the potty words posted by chuckschick in another forum-quick in, quick out, standing only, no spinning, no seat dancing, no graffiti, all activity clearly illuminated by the skylight overhead.

Like thebcman, "My mother taught me not to pee on my hands."

If you like, I can provide video footage, which I have only by virtue of the fact that, on one occasion, I was TAZER'ed by Sigmund while exiting the restroom. (This, of course, thwarted my efforts to avoid the touching of surfaces, as it left me flopping about on the floor. Luckily, there was a helpful bystander who took time during her race back to the workplace to extend me a hand to get me back onto my feet.)

In retrospect, I should have taken TheHeartlessBureaucrat's advice and just "peed in the bushes"-or, better still, GretchenJP's recommendation to "hold it til you get home."

I know that I must "sound like a college student," but I am a "medical professional" and a "politician." I don't have time for all this mayhem, when just needing to relieve myself. So, let me simply flush and go-just don't "tase" me, Bro!

(Oh, and BTW, regarding the tas-ing incident mentioned above, apparently the perpetrator is trying to "wash his hands" of the whole affair.)

Hoots 10 years ago

I have to say I'm usually odd man out when I'm washing my hands in the mens room. I'm surprised that many guys wash from what I've seen.

gccs14r 10 years ago

The last figure I heard was that 60% of men and 40% of women don't wash, so even the bad numbers are better than I thought they were. Bathroom doors should push out to exit, rather than pull inward, and they should have a bacterial count monitor that locks the door unless you've scrubbed well enough to be safe.

waydownsouth 10 years ago

This also explains the long lines for the womans restroom.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years ago

Frankly, for many (most?) public restrooms, my own body is the "cleanest" thing in the room, so I avoid touching ANYTHING else with my hands, especially dispensers and faucet knobs. Unless a restroom is well designed, permitting one to wash without contacting surfaces, then I personally opt out (and you all are better off for my having done so).

(I can hear the replies already... "touching yourself in public restrooms...?")

justtired 10 years ago

it is all gross!! i have known some medical professionals that did not wash after the bathroom.

ontheotherhand 10 years ago

Another good reason to NOT eat the peanuts and pretzels in bowls at the bars. GROSS!

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years ago

justtired say: "it is all gross!! i have known some medical professionals that did not wash after the bathroom."

... and they have the good sinks!

guesswho 10 years ago

Even if you don't 'touch' yourself or if you are 'clean' washing after using the bathroom is a good way to keep your hands clean throughout the day, after touching money, doorknobs, lightswitches, cupboard, anything that presents itself as an opportunity to transmit germs.

Katie Van Blaricum 10 years ago

Yeah, but public restrooms ARE pretty gross. I hate having to touch the paper towel dispenser and the lid to the trashcan afterwards. ...not that I don't still wash my hands, mind you...but it's still gross.

kneejerkreaction 10 years ago

I'd say 1/3 nonwashers is a bit low for men. This has been my pet peeve for years. Makes me mad to see someone leave the bathroom without washing. Then they invariably head for the jelly bean bowl sitting on some secretary's desk.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years ago

kneejerkreaction says: "Makes me mad to see someone leave the bathroom without washing. Then they invariably head for the jelly bean bowl sitting on some secretary's desk."

Me, when I exit the bathroom with unwashed hands, I immediately go into my politician routine and begin shaking hands with everyone I meet over the next several minutes. THEN, I need to wash my hands.

matahari 10 years ago

I use the paper towel that I dry my hands with the grip the door, then hold the door open with my foot and toss the paper into the trash on the way out if I must use a public rest room. And yes, it was probably a man that designed a bathrrom to the opens 'in' How stupid~most of the times the bathroom is behind a partition, and down a short corridor so no open exposure when leaving, so why?

shockchalk 10 years ago

Matahari............It's not a man or a woman thing, it's a building code. They try to avoid having doors open into hallways because hallways are a means of egress in an emergency. You don't want someone throwing a door open and knocking someone to the ground when they are trying to exit a buiding.

lmpaul 10 years ago

Geez, my female boss doesn't wash her hands - and she makes coffee and types on everyone's computer - ugh. Borrows our pens -oh, makes me shiver with revulsion.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years ago

lmpaul says: "Geez, my female boss doesn't wash her hands - and she makes coffee and types on everyone's computer - ugh. Borrows our pens -oh, makes me shiver with revulsion."

She's merely immunizing you against the coming biological onslaught....

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 10 years ago

Just a thought:

One third of men don't wash their hands in the bathroom. This result may be skewed because men who don't wash may be more prone to use a public restroom that is populated by folks standing around watching their habits.

If I see someone in the can taking data, I'm gonna go pee in the bushes and use hand sanitizer.



Sigmund 10 years ago

Anyone caught leaving a bathroom without washing their hands should be TAZER'ed.

Sharon Roullins 10 years ago

And just think, most of these guys work in fast food places. GROSS! My daughter was in the computer lab a couple of days ago and witnessed a guy blow his nose in his hand; too trifling to get a tissue, then wiped it on his sleeve. Guess where he worked? The dining hall of all places.

Godot 10 years ago

I agree with 75x55. Why in the world do we shake hands, anyway? I prefer to bow, but the air kiss works well, too.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years ago

"my own body is the "cleanest" thing in the room"

That ceases to be a fact the minute you put your hand where the sun don't shine.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years ago

"my own body is the "cleanest" thing in the room"

OldEnuf2BYurDad says: "That ceases to be a fact the minute you put your hand where the sun don't shine."

I ... um ... er ... generally ... don't ... um ... put ... my ... uh ... hand ... where the sun ... don't shine.

(Clearly, this "touching myself in public restrooms" thang has gotten blown WAY out of proportion.)

justtired 10 years ago

why would you wipe your face with a paper towel that could still have "stuff" on it? these reasons are the main arguments against potluck dinners. what "pot" did they get the ingredients from?!?!?

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