Studies show that toilet hygiene leaves a lot to be desired in Germany
Only two out of three people use soap and water after going to the toilet. Only one in ten uses a disinfectant provided. This emerges from a current study in which the hygiene behavior of around 78,000 toilet visitors was observed in 100 toilet systems.
From January to April 2019, the hygiene company Hagleitner collected data from users of around 100 special toilets. The study used light barriers and soap dispensers with an online connection to determine how many people visited the toilets and how many made use of the hygiene products provided.
Barely two out of three people use soap and water
The results show that there is still room for improvement in toilet hygiene in Germany and Austria. According to the data collected, barely two out of three people washed their hands with soap and water after going to the toilet. Just one in ten used the disinfectant that was attached directly next to the soap dispenser.
Test toilets were located in Germany and Austria
The data come from 100 toilet facilities, 79 of which are in Austria and 21 in Germany. In total, the toilets were visited 78,172 times in the test period. A foam soap dispenser and 8,665 hand disinfection dispensers were operated 47,711 times.
Heidelberg University comes to similar results
Just recently, another observational study by SRH Heidelberg University came to a similar result. The researchers observed the hygiene behavior of 1,000 people who visited public toilets in Heidelberg. The result: around seven percent did not wash their hands at all, 27 percent only used water. 58 percent used water and soap, but without the required thoroughness. Only eight percent cleaned their hands so that a significant reduction in pathogens was expected.
While around eleven percent of men completely waived hand washing, the figure was only three percent for women. The proportion who washed their hands with soap and water was 82 percent for women and 51 percent for men. According to the results of the observational study, hand contact with men has a greater germ potential than women.
What should you watch out for when washing your hands?
The Federal Center for Health Education recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Not only should the palms of the hands be cleaned, but also the spaces between the fingers. "The risk of infection with viruses and bacteria can be reduced by up to 99.9 percent if the hand hygiene is carried out correctly," the SRH researchers wrote in a press release.
Washing hands prevents infectious diseases
Around 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted via the hands. No wonder: We face each other 16 times an hour on average. In this way, germs on the hands get into the mouth, nose and eyes and then into the body, where an infection can then develop. "Infectious diseases can be effectively and inexpensively avoided by regular hand washing, and this without any side effects," summarizes Professor Dr. Frank Musolesi, the head of the observational study. For more information, read the article: Proper hand washing: Optimal hand hygiene reduces the risk of infection. (vb)