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A third hand does not wash after using the toilet

Studies show that toilet hygiene in Germany leaves much to be desired

Only two out of three people use soap and water after using their toilets. Only one in ten uses a disinfectant supplied. This is apparent from a recent study in which hygiene behavior was observed by approximately 78,000 visitors to 100 toilet facilities.

From January to April 2019, the Hagleitner hygiene company collected data from users of around 100 special toilets. Using photoelectric sensors and soap dispensers with an online connection, the study discovered how many people visited the toilets and how many of the supplied hygiene products used them.

Due to lack of hand washing after the toilet, bacteria play easily. Recent studies show that many people in Germany and Austria are not so careful with toilet hygiene. (Image: Igor Mojzes / fotolia.com)

Only two out of three people use soap and water

The results show that there is still room for improvement in toilet hygiene in Germany and Austria. According to the data collected, barely two in three people wash their hands after using the toilet with soap and water. Only one in ten used the disinfectant, which was attached directly next to the soap dispenser.

Test toilets were in Germany and Austria

The data comes from 100 toilet facilities, of which 79 in Austria and 21 in Germany. In total, the toilets were visited 78,172 times during the test period. A soap dispenser for foam was used 47,711 times and a dispenser for hand sanitizer 8,665 times.

University in Heidelberg is achieving similar results

Only recently did another observational study by SRH Hochschule Heidelberg reach a similar conclusion. The researchers observed the hygiene behavior of 1,000 people who visited public toilets in Heidelberg. The result: about seven percent completely abstained from washing their hands, and 27 percent used only water. Although 58 percent used soap and water, but without the required thoroughness. Only eight percent cleaned their hands, so a significant reduction in pathogens was expected.

Differences in the sexes

While about eleven percent of men completely abstained from washing their hands, women had only three percent. The proportion that washed their hands with soap and water was 82 percent for women and 51 percent for men. According to the results of the observational study, hand contact with men has a greater potential for germination than with women.

What should be taken into account when washing hands?

The Federal Center for Health Education recommends cleaning your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Not only the palms, but also the interdental spaces must be cleaned. "The risk of infection with viruses and bacteria can be reduced by properly performed hand hygiene up to 99.9 percent," the SRH researchers write in a press release.

Hand washing prevents infectious diseases

About 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted through the hands. No wonder: we come across our faces 16 times per hour on average. In this way, germs enter the hands in the mouth, nose and eyes and then into the body, where an infection can develop. "Contagious diseases can be effectively and cheaply prevented through regular handwashing, and this without any side effects," summarizes Professor Dr. med together. Frank Musolesi, the head of the observational study. For more information, read the article: Good hand wash: Optimal hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection. (Ex)

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