Most in U.S. don't wash hands long enough

Aug. 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM
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MILWAUKEE, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A hand washing survey indicates most U.S. Americans wash their hands, but most are not washing them long enough -- many wash for only 5 seconds.

The fourth annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey, conducted by Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of bathroom and locker room furnishings, found 70 percent of U.S. adults said they always wash their hands after using a public restroom, 29 percent sometimes skip that important action and 1 percent admit they never wash after using a public restroom.

In addition, 57 percent of respondents estimated they wash their hands for just 5 to 15 seconds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds and suggests singing "Happy Birthday" twice to allow enough time to remove and rinse off germs.

Eighty-four percent said they plan to talk to their children about the importance of hand washing as part of their back-to-school preparation.

Seventy-percent of respondents said they frequently or occasionally see people leave without washing their hands -- 34 percent of men frequently saw non-hand washers versus 26 percent of women.

Sixty-two percent of respondents admitted they have simply rinsed their hands with water after using a public restroom, an increase since 2011 when 54 percent left with only a water rinse.

The study of 1,046 U.S. adults ages 18-65 was conducted Aug. 1-3. No margin of error was provided.

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