DailyDirt: Push Button, Rub Hands, Wipe Hands On Jeans...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Just the idea of touching anything in a public bathroom grosses some people out. Germaphobes may have some reasonable things to fear (eg. MRSA and other superbugs), but for the most part, people are pretty safe from the germs in public restrooms (and maybe computer keyboards are just as dirty as toilets). Handwashing is generally the best defense, but here are a few links for the ultra-paranoid. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    paper towels are better... according to whom?

    at the end of that article... it says the report was co-authored by a consultant for Kimberly-Clark. So... take that conclusion with a HUGE grain of salt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: paper towels are better... according to whom?

    Drying our hands with salt sounds interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jan 7th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

    Why not use doorknobs that are superheated to kill of the bad bacteria? Duh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Old Man in The Sea, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 12:13am

    Re: paper towels are better... according to whom?

    The following is from a training course for making trainers.

    One assignment for the course we were undertaking for our Workplace Training and Assessment Cert 4 was to create a sample training session in our respective fields for the class.

    One of the students was a micro-biologist working in the food industry. His subject was cleaning hands after using the toilet facilities and what works best.

    To demonstrate the bacteriological results of each method, we each had to contaminate (using a finger) an agar growth plate for each method.

    First was not washing hands
    Washing with water and not drying
    Third was drying with paper towel after washing hands.

    He took the samples away and brought them back a week later after incubating the samples.

    In all cases, not washing gave the largest variety of bugs.
    Washing only greatly reduced the quantity/variety of bugs and drying hands with paper towel left very few in sample.

    He did note that many of the samples appeared to have some very nasty bugs like golden staph, but he was not allowing any of the incubated samples to be opened. We each got to see our own sample as well as all the others.

    All samples were taken away and destroyed to prevent any spread.

    This course was ten years ago and I know that his personal recommendation was to thoroughly dry hands after washing with paper towel or air dryer even if only using water to wash.

    So if you doubt the report look into the subject further and see what other sources say as well. from that experience, i certainly put in the effort to make sure my hands are dry afterwards.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 3:46am

    Re: paper towels are better... according to whom?

    While I understand your concern about who co-authored the article, it makes sense to me, for several reasons.

    1. Soap, friction, and water are all needed to remove debris and bacteria from your hands.

    2. Most people are like wet each hand add soap light rub over hands for 2 seconds rinse, not even removing all the soap residue (that is not washing your hands).

    3. An air dryer takes a HUGE volume of air, laden with bacteria from the restroom, and blows it into a damp medium (your hands) which are almost without fail, not completely dry when you leave. Even if you are lucky and use one with UV to kill bacteria, you don't know that the UV is working, when the bulbs were last replaced...

    4. Paper towels allow you to; thoroughly dry your hands and use friction to remove any remaining contaminates; turn off the faucet (if it is not automatic); open the door without touching the handle; then dispose of all the nasties on the other side of the paper towel into a receptacle without ever touching them.

    Now if you want to talk about which is healthier for the person that has to clean the bathroom or better for the environment, or cheaper for the people supplying the restroom, well that is a different story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 3:58am

    Re:

    I guess it worked in "Home Alone". You didn't hear that crook complaining about bacteria on his hand. It just had a nasty side effect of branding the letter M on his hand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    It is understandable that people might be concerned about germs in public restrooms, after having witnessed someone exit a stall and then immediately leave the restroom without washing. Restrooms without paper towels pose an exit problem, do you really want to touch that door handle?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Paul Renault (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 5:28am

    Get rid of washroom doors where you can...

    ..and install chicanes.

    (Y'know: a wall feature where you walk in through a "u", so you don't have to touch anything.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    I'm somewhat obsessive about washing my hands. Not in a pathological way but I won't feel comfortable at home if I don't wash my hands after coming in from the street. I'm bothered when I use public transportation or touch other public use stuff because honestly people are not prone to hygienic habits. Spend sometime inside a public restroom booth and count how many wash their hands after doing their stuff...

    As the first poster notes, you gotta take the report with a huge grain of salt but it makes sense, how many places clean filters and other stuff?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    I guess that might work. But wouldn't the door knob burn my hand when I used it? I'm not sure I want that, can you explain further?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    There are lots of shitty hand dryers out there, but the Xcelerator and Dyson Airblade ones do a really good job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Dec 23rd, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    The Toepener Website

    The Toepener can be found here: www.thetoepener.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This