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U.S. Gets A C For Hand Hygiene

November 22, 2005

The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), Washington, DC, recently gave Americans a “C” for hand hygiene. The SDA’s “National cleaning” survey revealed 43% of respondents seldom or never wash their hands after coughing or sneezing, 32% don’t always wash before eating lunch and 54% don’t wash their hands long enough to effectively remove germs and dislodge dirt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SDA recommend washing with soap for at least 20 seconds.
“Most infectious diseases are spread by contact, either person-to-person, or by touching surfaces harboring germs,” said U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona. “Proper hand cleaning is the best prevention against communicable illness.”
Though 90% of Americans surveyed said they always washed their hands after using the bathroom, a 2003 observational study by the American Society for Microbiology found as many as 33% of public restroom users did not wash their hands. More women (60%) believe hand washing prevents colds and flu than men (42%). Women also washed their hands an average of nine times a day, while men washed an average of six times daily. More info:
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