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.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Push Button, Rub Hands, Wipe Hands On Jeans…”

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12 Comments
Old Man in The Sea says:

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.

Mr. Applegate says:

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.

Ninja (profile) says:

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?

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