Thursday, September 27, 2007

With Hands, Dirty Means Disease

tidbits that tantalizeDid You Say Soap?

Listen up, guys...

Dirty hands spread disease.

Why should the male portion of the population be singled out for this particular message? Well, it appears that women are simply better listeners - and hand washers.

All those years mom spent nagging, "Wash your hands," seem to have actually done some good with women. But, through some centuries-old, inherited tone-deafness, men still have trouble both listening and washing.

The result is more disease for all to share.

It's no big secret that the simple act of handwashing is the big gun in the battle against spreading disease. It's quite amazing, really. 15 to 20 seconds of rubbing your hands together, with a touch of soap, will stop most diseases dead in their tracks. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's the most important step in reducing the spread of disease.

But, according to a new survey conducted by the American Society for Microbiology and The Soap and Detergent Association, handwashing is at an all time low.

Sure, Americans still say they wash their hands after using public restrooms. 92% reported they complied with the healthy handwashing habit in telephone interviews. But...

When researchers staked out public restrooms - is this legal? - they found the claims of cleanliness were a dirty little lie. Only 88% of the women actually washed their hands. Men? Just 66% of the guys got a good feel for the soap and water. The others went cheerfully on their way, spreading disease with unmatched efficiency. Mom? Sadly, many mothers were observed hanging their heads in shame over what had become of their good, little boys...

So, come on guys - it's time to get with the program and, ahem, come clean...

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read about more about the importance of handwashing, including step-by-step instructions, see this from Mayo Clinic.


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