Coming clean on hand-washing habit
Here’s a little quiz: The percentage of people who used the bathroom and then washed their hands long enough to kill germs, a recent study found, was: A) 50 percent; B) 28 percent; C) 7 percent; or D) 5 percent. In the same study, what percentage of people washed, but didn’t use soap?: A) 4 percent; B) 16 percent; C) 22 percent; D) 33 percent.For extra credit, let’s ask: The percentage of people who didn’t wash at all following use of the bathroom was: A) 0.5 percent; B) 2 percent; C) 4 percent; D) 10 percent. The answer is D for each question. Those are some of the findings in a Michigan State University study published recently in the Journal of Environmental Health. You can read all the dirty details in the study, but the bottom line is that far too many of the more than 3,700 people observed were not following good hygiene practices. To kill germs, wash vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds with soap. Interestingly, the study notes that other research has shown that people tell others that they washed their hands 94 percent to 96 percent of the time. So besides being hygienically challenged, we also are … forgetful.