Monday, November 10

You might like to wash your hands NOW!

This info comes from, here.

The further north you go, the more likely you are to have faecal bacteria on your hands, especially if you are a man, according to a preliminary study conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

But women living in the South and Wales have little to feel smug about. In London, they are three times as likely as their men folk to have dirty hands, and in Cardiff, twice as likely. The men of London registered the most impressive score among all those surveyed, with a mere 6% found to have faecal bugs on their hands. Overall more than one on four commuters have bacteria which come from faeces on their hands.

The Dirty Hands Study was conducted in order to provide a snapshot of the nation's hand hygiene habits, as part of the world's first Global Handwashing Day today. Commuters' hands were swabbed at bus stops outside five train stations around the UK (Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Euston and Cardiff).

The results indicated that commuters in Newcastle were up to three times more likely than those in London to have faecal bacteria on their hands (44% compared to 13%) while those in Birmingham and Cardiff were roughly equal in the hand hygiene stakes (23% and 24% respectively). Commuters in Liverpool also registered a high score for faecal bacteria, with a contamination rate of 34%.

In Newcastle and Liverpool, men were more likely than women to show contamination (53% of men compared to 30% of women in Newcastle, and 36% of men compared to 31% of women in Liverpool), although in the other three centres, the women's hands were dirtier. Almost twice as many women than men in Cardiff were found to have contamination (29% compared to 15 %) while in Euston, they were more than three times likelier than the men to have faecal bacteria on their hands (the men here registered an impressive 6%, compared to a rate of 21% in the women). In Birmingham, the rate for women was slightly higher than the men (26% compared to 21%).

The bacteria that were found are all from the gut, and do not necessarily always cause disease, although they do indicate that hands have not been washed properly.

Dr Val Curtis, Director of the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, comments: 'We were flabbergasted by the finding that so many people had faecal 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 diarrhoeal 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'.

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At 12 November, 2008 04:14, Blogger BRAINCHEESE said...

Tried to leave a comment without success...trying now.

Linda D. in Seattle

At 12 November, 2008 04:15, Blogger BRAINCHEESE said...

OH! NOW it posts...geez. Anywhozit, I SAID, "WOW!" **after wiping my nose on my sleeve**

Linda D. in Seattle

At 12 November, 2008 11:36, Blogger Sara said...

love your first comment :)

glad to hear you used your OWN sleeve!!

At 12 November, 2008 17:10, Anonymous dad said...

intersting and topical for someone at the Hygiene School!

Mother did tell us to wash our hands and, as usual, Mother was right!

At 14 November, 2008 18:24, Blogger PCS said...

Maybe there is a small epidemic of diarrhoeal disease going around. I'm currently reading Paul Ewald's "A New Germ Theory of Disease". He points out quite correctly that when someone appears ill and you ask them what's wrong, they typically will tell you if they have a cold. But how many people ever tell you...damn, I have horrendous diarrhea or better yet, I have a raging case of syphilis?

At 17 November, 2008 00:23, Blogger Vicky Trabosh said...

you're makin' me feel a little dirty!! (but wiser!)

At 20 November, 2008 14:50, Anonymous susiej said...

That is disgusting... but, so glad I know!

At 29 November, 2008 12:34, Blogger Sara said...

Dad: mom was right

PCS: soooooooo true!!!!

Vic: dirty & wiser is better than older & wiser ;)

SusieJ: most food for thought is either interesting or scary.


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