The horrifying truth about
hand washing habits
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If people have not washed their hands properly, they
can spread germs onto the door handle and the other
surfaces that they touch when they leave the washroom.
In fact, research has revealed that one single contaminated door handle
can infect up to 60% of the occupants of a building within just four
1 in 4 people do not wash their hands after using the washroom1. That’s
25% of people walking away without removing any of the germs they
may have picked up in there.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, of those who do wash, 46% are not
washing for long enough to be effective2.
When these people leave the washroom, they can spread germs from
their hands onto the door handle and other surfaces that they touch. In
fact, contaminated hands can sequentially transfer some viruses to up to
Once the germs have made their way out of the washroom and onto
previously clean surfaces, they can quickly spread through a building.
14 people can be contaminated by touching the same object one after
Fortunately, sanitising hands can help to break the chain of infection.
Carrying an individual bottle of hand sanitiser and using it after
touching high-traffic objects will reduce the number of harmful germs
on your hands.
If you are responsible for a facility, we recommend having hand
sanitiser dispensers at washroom exits in addition to soap and water at
the sinks. This offers building occupants an additional opportunity for
hand hygiene and shows that you are concerned about their health and
well-being. To learn more about how to help prevent germs leaving the
washroom, visit www.purell-perfect-placement.eu, email
email@example.com, or call +44 1908 588444.
1 September 2007. Observational study sponsored by the American
Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association
2 “Clean Living.” 2008 Clean Hands Report Card. The Soap and
Detergent Association, Aug. 2008.
3 WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: First Global
Patient Safety Challenge Clean Care Is Safer Care. Geneva: World
Health Organization; 2009. 7, Transmission of pathogens by hands.
Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144014/
4 Barker J, Vipond IB, Bloomfield SF. J Hosp Infect 2004, 58:42-49.
Kerrie Doughty is trade marketing & communications manager,
GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1908 588444