3 Serious Concerns About Hygiene in Public Restrooms Revealed in Survey
In a study by Kimberly-Clark Professional, 39% of surveyrespondents feared picking up germs in a public restroom morethan any other place. Is there good reason for the fear or arepeople overly concerned? Can you reduce the risks?
WHAT'S IN THERE - CAN IT HURT YOU?
Without getting too specific, there are many germs that canthrive in restrooms. Bacteria live off of moisture and organicfood (or waste)- which can be plentiful in public restrooms.
Fears of contacting STD's (sexually transmitted diseases) from apublic washroom have more to do with the fear of the disease thanthe likelihood of picking it up in a washroom. Many of thesebacteria and viruses do not live long enough outside the body tobe easily transmitted. However, some experts admit there is atheoretical risk of herpes or crabs being contracted undercertain - but unlikely - conditions. Some public facilitiesprovide flushable toilet seat covers, antibacterial cleansers oryou can line the seat with toilet paper.
Of greater concern are salmonella and shigella bacteria which canbe transferred by contact with feces. The infected person cantransmit the bacteria on their hands which can then betransferred to flushing handles, door handles and faucets.
RESTROOM HYGIENE - BATTLING BACTERIA
Foul odors, lack of supplies and puddles on the floors can all besigns of improper maintenance.
Odor that comes from public washrooms can be caused by urine intile grouting. If the floors aren't properly cleaned daily (ormore) then the uric acid salts will not be removed with regularcleansers. These salts provide a food source for bacteria whosedigestive processes give off the foul odor.
Products like MicroGuard (tm) from AllDura and even stainlesssteel can reduce the maintenance required to keep bacteria growthto a minimum.
A lack of supplies (toilet paper, hand drying towels or soap) canalso increase the unhygienic conditions of a restroom. Overlycrowded restrooms can suffer from a lack of supplies or a lack ofavailable sinks, soap dispensers or dryers.
PERSONAL HYGIENE - THE MAGIC WEAPON
It is the simple truth that hand washing will drastically cut thechance for germ transference. A study done by Scott Papers foundthat more than nine out of ten respondents claimed to wash theirhands when using public restrooms. However, only 67% wereactually observed doing so.
As manufacturers of paper products, including towels, the companyalso states that drying hands thoroughly is imperative inpracticing proper hygiene. The moisture left on hands can stillcarry bacteria. Because of this, air drying machines may not beenough protection since many individuals do not use them longenough to thoroughly dry their hands.
The knowledge that proper washing and drying can protect you fromeven unsavory public restrooms is comforting. The fact thatpublic washrooms still need to provide the basics for goodhygiene, as well as good maintenance is something that needswork. Carrying an antibacterial gel for emergency use isrecommended when visiting a public area.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.
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