For more than 10 years, we’ve been celebrating World Hand Washing Day. October 15, is about creating awareness for hand hygiene in our everyday life and environment. Washing hands is still the simplest and most effective protection against infections.
But even after 11 years of intensive education, there are still large knowledge gaps on the subject of hand hygiene. Various studies have been carried out on this subject aimed at correcting hand hygiene behaviours. The SRH University Heidelberg, for example, investigated the hygiene behavior of men and women after the attendance of public toilets in Fast Food restaurants, at gas stations, restaurants and the cafeteria.
Differences in washing behaviour can be seen
Women wash their hands more frequently and thoroughly than men, but both sexes have some catching up to do. Ten psychology students spent a month looking at the fingers of 1,000 visitors to public toilets as inconspicuously as possible after their visit. Approximately 11% of men did not wash their hands at all after visiting the toilet. Among the women it was still 3% who went without washing their hands. 82% of women and 51% of men washed their hands very thoroughly with soap and water.
According to another BZgA study, only half of the respondents considered washing their hands after touching animals, or after arriving home, to be necessary. Only a third of respondents considered hand hygiene to be important after blowing a nose or coughing.
In another BZgA survey on hand washing, 87 percent of people stated that they wash their hands with soap if possible. But only 38 percent of those surveyed adhere to a minimum duration of 20 seconds. “The importance of the protective function of hand washing is often forgotten,” said BZgA head Heidrun Thaiss.
Duration determines efficacy
“Those who habitually wash their hands thoroughly with for 20 to 30 seconds can protect themselves and others from gastrointestinal infections, lung infections, and skin infections,” said the director of the authority in Cologne. “Colds, flu or diarrhoea with vomiting can be prevented in this way”. To fulfill our mission “Breaking the chain of infection to live healthier in an increasingly globalized world”, we are working to create as many hygiene access points for hand hygiene. We believe in infection prevention over treatment. We offer a wide range of hand hygiene products, from intuitive systems that are designed to teach children to wash their hands properly <<Learn more>>, as well as proven products that ease access to hand hygiene in all areas. <<SanTRAL>>