News Stories

Washing: Why?

We all know that we should wash our hands often, and here's a new reason WHY.

Don't you wish everyone washed their hands after going to the bathroom? (YOU do, don't you?) BBC News found that more than one in four subway and bus commuters has bacteria from feces on their hands. Researchers discovered this when they swabbed over 400 people at bus and train stations in five major cities in England and Wales. For some reason, people who rode the bus had higher rates of hand contamination than subway riders. Surprisingly, manual workers had cleaner hands than students, retired people or the unemployed (or maybe it's not surprising?these people have to wash their hands frequently).

BBC quotes researcher Val Curtis as saying, "We were flabbergasted by the finding that so many people had fecal bugs on their hands. The figures were far higher than we had anticipated, and suggest that there is a real problem with people washing their hands in the UK. If any of these people had been suffering from a diarrheal disease, the potential for it to be passed around would be greatly increased by their failure to wash their hands after going to the toilet."

BBC quotes researcher Mike Catchpole as saying, "These results are startling and should be enough to make anyone reach for the soap."

Would researchers in the US get the same results if they did these tests here?

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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