Home Health One third does not wash their hands after using the toilet

One third does not wash their hands after using the toilet

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

Only two out of three people use soap and water after they have used their toilets. Only one in ten uses a supplied disinfectant. This emerges from a recent study, in which the hygiene behavior was observed by about 78,000 toilet visitors to 100 toilet facilities.

From January to April 2019, the hygiene company Hagleitner collected data from users of around 100 special toilets. By means of photoelectric sensors and soap dispensers with online connection, the study found out how many people visited the toilets and how many of the provided hygiene products made use of it.

By lack of hand washing after the toilet, germs have easy game. Current studies show that many people in Germany and Austria are not so careful about 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 out of three people washed their hands after using the toilet with soap and water. Just 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 are in Austria and 21 in Germany. In total, the toilets were visited 78,172 times in the test period. A foam soap dispenser was used 47,711 times and a hand sanitizer dispenser 8,665 times.

University in Heidelberg comes to similar results

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

Differences in the sexes

While about eleven percent of men completely abstained from washing their hands, women only had 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 in women.

What should be considered when washing hands?

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

Washing hands prevents infectious diseases

Around 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted via the hands. No wonder: On average, we get into our faces 16 times an hour. In this way, germs get on the hands in the mouth, nose and eyes and then into the body, where then an infection can develop. "Infectious diseases can be effectively and inexpensively avoided by regular hand washing, and this without any side effects," sums up Professor Dr. med. Frank Musolesi, the head of the observational study. For more information read the article: Proper Hand Washing: Optimum hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection. (Vb)

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