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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:51 EDT

Third Annual Hand Washing Survey Shows More Americans Washing Up

September 7, 2011

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Americans are becoming more diligent about washing their hands after using a public restroom, according to a national survey conducted by Bradley Corporation of Menomonee Falls, a leading manufacturer of bathroom and locker room furnishings, including sinks, faucets, hand dryers, showers and lockers.

In Bradley’s third annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey, Americans said they wash up 90 percent of the time after using a public restroom – that’s up from 87 percent when the survey was first conducted in 2009.

In addition, more parents plan to talk to their children about the importance of hand washing as part of their child’s back-to-school preparation. In the 2011 survey, 89 percent of parents were planning a hand washing talk, compared with 83 percent in 2010. (The question was not asked in the 2009 survey.)

When asked what impact seasonal flu virus outbreaks have had on their hand washing habits when using public restrooms, 59 percent of Americans say they now wash their hands more frequently or more thoroughly or longer – a 9 percent increase compared to last year’s response of 50 percent.

“It’s a significant move in the right direction,” says medical microbiologist Michael McCann, Ph.D., a professor of biology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “It’s good to see more and more Americans seem to understand the importance of hand washing in illness prevention because hand washing is one of the easiest things to do to keep well.”

The online survey of 1,053 respondents was conducted August 1-3, 2011, and also revealed:

  • 64 percent of Americans always wet their hands before adding soap
  • 13 percent always wash their hands for a specific amount of time
  • 26 percent use a towel, sleeve or other material to open the restroom door after washing their hands
  • 11 percent admit they are a germaphobe – someone who is obsessed with cleanliness and has a fear of germs or unsanitary surfaces
  • Stall door handles, restroom entrance doors and faucet handles are the top three surfaces respondents dislike touching the most in a public restroom
  • 26 percent prefer to stop at a fast food restaurant for a restroom break when taking a car trip (McDonald’s was mentioned most frequently), while another 25 percent prefer a state rest area
  • 91 percent of respondents say an unclean restroom gives them a negative perception of a business

For 90 years, Bradley Corporation has designed and manufactured commercial washfountains, and today is the industry’s exclusive source for plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, restroom partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Bradley serves the commercial, industrial, health care, recreation, education, and corrections markets worldwide. For more information, contact Bradley, 1-800-BRADLEY; www.bradleycorp.com.

SOURCE Bradley Corporation


Source: PR Newswire