Women are better than men when it comes to washing their hands in public toilets. This is according to a new study from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). It monitored the washing habits of thousands of people in restrooms in four major U.S. cities. It found 90 percent of women washed their hands, compared with 75 percent of men. A separate telephone survey revealed that people perhaps lie about how hygienic they are: 97 percent of women and 96 percent of men said they always wash their hands after using a public restroom.
Dr. Judy Daly of the ASM advised: “One of the most effective tools in preventing the spread of infection is at our fingertips. The single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others is to clean our hands.” She explained that cold and flu viruses are spread by hands more often than through the air from sneezing. However, the study found only 42 percent wash after petting a dog or cat, 32 percent after coughing or sneezing and 21 percent after handling money. Banknotes and coins are full of illness-causing bacteria.