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Public washroom – friend or foe?

When dealing with hygiene in public washrooms, there are several components that combine to create a hygenic experience.

We recently reviewed an article “Focus on hand drying – paper drying vs. hand dryer” to get a better understanding of the potential advantages of using paper towels over hand dryers in public washrooms.

Many people use hand washing and hand drying systems in public washrooms believing that these facilities are hygienic. However, this may not always be the case as there are many areas that can potentially transmit pathogenic bacteria.

We looked at a new study that looks into this claim. The aim of the study was to investigate the hygiene facilities provided, including hand washing and drying facilities in public washrooms. For hand drying systems, total germ counts and the different germ types were determined and identified.

55 public washrooms, ranging from simple communities to high-end facilities, were investigated.

Of the 55 washrooms studied, 52 bacterial species were identified. Over 97% of the pathogenic Staphylococcus spp. tested were resistant to at least one first-line antimicrobials, including penicillin, cefoxitin, erythromycin, co-trimoxazole, clindamycin and gentamicin.  22.6% of the washrooms showed co-resistance to at least three antimicrobials, with co-resistance to penicillin, erythromycin and clindamycin being the most common.

Our findings suggest that hand-drying facilities in public washrooms can act as reservoirs of drug-resistant bacteria. The importance of frequent cleaning and maintenance of public washrooms to promote safe hand hygiene practices for the public are greatly emphasised. Click on the following link to find out more about OPHARDT’s solutions for hygienic hand drying.

For more information on hand hygiene, please visit our Hygiene Hub.



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