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Survey finds airport restroom users seldom wash
Sun Times ^ | 09/16/03 | JIM RITTER

Posted on 09/16/2003 6:42:02 AM PDT by bedolido

More than one of four users of O'Hare Airport washrooms didn't wash their hands after going to the bathroom, according to a survey that found even dirtier hands in New York's airport.

But in Toronto, 96 percent of airport bathroom users washed up. The high rate likely is due to fears over the SARS virus, which hit the Canadian city hard, researchers said.

Observers who hung out in airport bathrooms spied on 7,541 users in six cities. Observers were instructed to comb their hair and put on makeup while discreetly recording hand-washing behavior.

The percentage of non-washers was 29 percent in New York, 26 percent in Chicago, San Francisco and Miami and 19 percent in Dallas.

"The same people that fail to wash after using restrooms go on to pick up children, handle food, greet family and use other public facilities," said Dr. Judy Daly, secretary of the American Society for Microbiology, which sponsored the survey.

The survey, conducted last month by Wirthlin Worldwide, was reported at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy at McCormick Place.

The findings indicate many people lie when it comes to hand-washing. In an earlier survey, 95 percent of adults claimed they always wash their hands after using public restrooms.

With the exception of Toronto, there has been no significant increase in hand-washing compared with observational studies in 1996 and 2000. And researchers fear rates could drop in Toronto as SARS fears ebb. During the epidemic's peak, the media bombarded residents with reminders to wash their hands.

Germs enter your body if your unwashed hands touch your nose, mouth, eyes and open wounds. Hand-washing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the transmission of colds, flu, diarrhea, SARS and other diseases.

Health officials advise washing before preparing or eating food, treating a wound or a sick person and inserting or removing contact lenses. Wash after going to the bathroom; handling uncooked meat, poultry and fish; changing a diaper; blowing your nose; coughing; sneezing; taking out the garbage, or handling an animal.

Use soap and warm running water. Rub hands together for at least 10 to 15 seconds. Wash all surfaces thoroughly, including wrists and under the fingernails. Forget anti-bacterial soap; ordinary soap works just fine.

Some aren't keeping it clean

A survey found the following percentages of people do not wash their hands after using airport restrooms:

Dallas/Fort Worth: males, 31 percent; females, 8 percent
John F. Kennedy, New York: males, 37 percent; females, 22 percent
Miami Dade County: males, 30 percent; females, 21 percent
O'Hare: males, 38 percent; females, 15 percent
San Francisco: males, 20 percent; females, 41 percent
Toronto: males, 5 percent; females, 3 percent
Total: males, 26 percent, females, 17 percent
SOURCE: American Society for Microbiology


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airport; restroom; sars; survey; users; wash
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1 posted on 09/16/2003 6:42:02 AM PDT by bedolido
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To: bedolido
Well, the headline sure doesn't match the stats, which show that in all cases, the vast majority of folks do wash their hands.

I always wash my hands -- even though I almost never pee on them....

2 posted on 09/16/2003 6:45:07 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: bedolido
Observers were instructed to comb their hair and put on makeup while discreetly recording hand-washing behavior.

If some guy is combing his hair and putting on makeup when I'm finished, I'm getting the heck outta there asap!

3 posted on 09/16/2003 6:46:09 AM PDT by steveo (Dogs Eat Barf Slowly On Wednesday's Mable)
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To: Piltdown_Woman; RadioAstronomer; longshadow
Warning: never shake hands with anyone at the airport!
4 posted on 09/16/2003 6:47:48 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: bedolido
OMG we're all gonna die!

What the heck do these "researchers" think we have an immune system for.

Ah, the great unwashed...

5 posted on 09/16/2003 6:48:44 AM PDT by Damocles (sword of...)
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To: bedolido
News flash:

My "pee-pee" is far cleaner and has fewer infections germs (none of concern to me) than any surface in any airport restroom.

A physician realtive tells me (in the context of kiddie wading pools) that urine is essentially sterile.

"Number two" is another matter.
6 posted on 09/16/2003 6:48:52 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: All
Ok...

Being a guy it's really hard to pee on ones own hands.
So. You get up in the morning, take a shower and get dressed.

Now. you do whatever.. work, play, putz around the house.

All the while your "willie" is safely (and cleanly) tucked away while your Hands are-- touching doorknobs, wiping your eyes/nose, shaking others hands, etc..

Seems to me your wanker is clean and your hands are filthy.

It makes more sense to wash BEFORE you pee. Keep that peter clean!!

:D
7 posted on 09/16/2003 6:49:45 AM PDT by CygnusXI (Where's that dang Meteor already?)
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To: bedolido
A Cornell student and a Harvard student are standing at urinals next to each other during halftime at a football game. (Each is wearing his school's jacket.) The Cornell guy finishes first and heads for the door. The Harvard guy supercilliously tells him: "At Havhad they teach us to wash our hands after we piss."

The Cornell guy considers a moment and replies, "At Cornell they teach us not to piss on our hands."

You may substitute school names as you like.

================================================

Apropos of nothing, I witnessed a fellow in the "Ten Items or Less" line in a market in Cambridge, MA. He had like 25 items. The checker said to him, "Are you from M.I.T. and can't read or Harvard and can't count?"

--Boris

8 posted on 09/16/2003 6:51:17 AM PDT by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: bedolido
The percentage of non-washers was 29 percent in New York, 26 percent in Chicago, San Francisco and Miami and 19 percent in Dallas.

Don't worry, once you exclude the airport food service people, the percentage of non-washers is actually much smaller.

9 posted on 09/16/2003 6:51:17 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
what surprises me are the stats on the females... clean up your act ladies!
10 posted on 09/16/2003 6:51:39 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: PatrickHenry
I scrub my hands after using a restroom (look like a doc going in for surgery LOL), especially a public one. If at all possible, I do not open the door with my hands as I leave also. I also carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for when washing is not convenient, like just before eating when sitting in an airplane.
11 posted on 09/16/2003 6:51:57 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Beelzebubba
My "pee-pee" is far cleaner and has fewer infections germs (none of concern to me) than any surface in any airport restroom.

I'm with you here. Most public restrooms are horrible. I tend to avoid washing my hands after a leak unless I'm home or at work or in a restaurant. Restaurants tend to have clean bathrooms.

I've been in Philipino whorehouses more sanitary than the WalMart restroom I was in last week. It looked like someone had crapped on the wall.

12 posted on 09/16/2003 6:53:12 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: bedolido
Last time I was in an airport I got done washing my hands..as I was headed out, a guy that just got done started to walk out, I looked at him and raised an eyebrow while looking toward the sinks...he turned around and washed his hands.

Just doing my part for the cause of cleanliness!
13 posted on 09/16/2003 6:54:36 AM PDT by Registered (Gray Davis won't be baaaaahhck)
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To: bedolido
that's why God gave us immune systems
14 posted on 09/16/2003 6:55:42 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch (When I am asked what my political preference is, I answer "Christian".)
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To: PatrickHenry
Actually, the chance of encountering a pathogenic microorganism from touching the fixtures in a public restroom, is far greater than the risk from touching one's own genitalia.
15 posted on 09/16/2003 6:56:22 AM PDT by OWK
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To: Beelzebubba
My "pee-pee" is far cleaner

That's why I wash my hands BEFORE....

16 posted on 09/16/2003 6:57:14 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Why do the Flag postage stamps peel off upside down..infiltrators?)
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To: OWK
the risk from touching one's own genitalia.

Yes. Emphasis on one's own.

17 posted on 09/16/2003 6:58:50 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: ErnBatavia
That's why I wash my hands BEFORE....

Great idea... I tried washing my hands during but the guy next to me told me to get my hands out of his urinal.

18 posted on 09/16/2003 6:59:09 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: Registered
Hey, Redge, ya know that, depending on your apparel, it IS possible to do yer bidness without your hands coming into contact with your privates. Especially if you're wearing elastic-waisted jogging pants or shorts. No contact = no need to wash.

Michael

19 posted on 09/16/2003 7:00:04 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: boris
There's another story about Hahvahd men who are taught to wash their hands before they pee.
20 posted on 09/16/2003 7:01:03 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: TontoKowalski
the WalMart restroom I was in last week. It looked like someone had crapped on the wall.

I recently learned something from a plumber out here in the SoCal desert.....it's a cultural sort of thing that Latinos often use the paper, but don't flush it - it's either tossed on the floor of a public bathroom, or in a home, there's a box for it...but it's NOT flushed. Maybe back home, it saved digging another pit or something.

Wifey noticed that the stall at Hometown Buffet has a sign inside the door requesting "deposit soiled toilet paper in the commode".

21 posted on 09/16/2003 7:01:13 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Why do the Flag postage stamps peel off upside down..infiltrators?)
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To: Registered
No offence man, but I would have called you a damn "do-gooder", and barged right past you.
:)
22 posted on 09/16/2003 7:01:13 AM PDT by CygnusXI (Where's that dang Meteor already?)
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To: TontoKowalski; bedolido
this thread is hilarious!!
23 posted on 09/16/2003 7:01:55 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: Beelzebubba
"urine is essentially sterile. "

Until you eat asparagas.
24 posted on 09/16/2003 7:01:56 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: Wright is right!
Trust me, if you've touched the door, the stall, anything in the restroom you still need to wash :)
25 posted on 09/16/2003 7:02:17 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: Wright is right!
Yeh, we need to start a thread on things you can do to avoid washing your hands after using a public bathroom....nobody's mentioned using your shoe to flush the john..Next?
26 posted on 09/16/2003 7:05:40 AM PDT by Registered (Gray Davis won't be baaaaahhck)
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To: bedolido
Dallas/Fort Worth:         males, 31 percent; females, 8 percent 
John F. Kennedy, New York: males, 37 percent; females, 22 percent
Miami Dade County:         males, 30 percent; females, 21 percent
O'Hare:                    males, 38 percent; females, 15 percent
San Francisco:             males, 20 percent; females, 41 percent
Toronto:                   males,  5 percent; females, 3 percent

Total:                     males, 26 percent, females, 17 percent

SOURCE: American Society for Microbiology
Hmmm ... I wonder what the stats for CHINA might look like ...
27 posted on 09/16/2003 7:06:07 AM PDT by _Jim (Resources for Understanding the Blackout of 2003 - www.pserc.wisc.edu/Resources.htm)
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To: _Jim
Well, from first hand experience (no pun intended) I'd say the Chinese would be off the charts!
28 posted on 09/16/2003 7:07:47 AM PDT by Registered (Gray Davis won't be baaaaahhck)
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To: _Jim
thanks for cleaning up the survey (hope you washed your hands afterwards)... btw how did you get it to line up in HTML?
29 posted on 09/16/2003 7:08:17 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: bedolido
I always wash my hands and NEVER touch the doorknob on the way out.

I told a friend, who thought I was too picky, that touching that doorknob is the sanitary equivilent of shaking hands with a man's penis.
30 posted on 09/16/2003 7:09:34 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: _Jim
San Francisco: males, 20 percent; females, 41 percent

the "guys" in frisco use the washrooms for peeing too?

31 posted on 09/16/2003 7:10:15 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: bedolido
I disagree that washing your hands in public rest room, especially an airport, is smart thing to do and if it stops transmission of diseases. If all I have touched in the bathroom is myself after using the urinal and if I'm relatively clean then I will not receive any germs.

If however, I use the sink to clean I may contact the faucet, the soap disoneser and the paper towel dispenser. Each time I increase my chance of having someone elses germs transfer to me.

32 posted on 09/16/2003 7:11:00 AM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
I told a friend, who thought I was too picky, that touching that doorknob is the sanitary equivilent of shaking hands with a man's penis.

Now your talking about the San Francisco airport right?

33 posted on 09/16/2003 7:11:51 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: bedolido
btw how did you get it to line up in HTML?

I set the text up between <pre> and </pre> tages than added the required spaces to get the needed alignment ...

34 posted on 09/16/2003 7:11:54 AM PDT by _Jim (Resources for Understanding the Blackout of 2003 - www.pserc.wisc.edu/Resources.htm)
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To: bedolido
The "I don't pee on my hands" responses are very amusing. My take on washing after using the restroom is that it's just a good opportunity to clean your hands. You go through the day touching surfaces that many other people have also been handling (and how clean were their hands?).

Yes, "that's why we have immune systems" but we also have the ability to heal cuts and I don't deliberately break my skin open....

35 posted on 09/16/2003 7:12:38 AM PDT by whd23
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To: _Jim
Hmmm ... I wonder what the stats for CHINA might look like

Or France...

But I guess no one in France bothers to use the toilet.

36 posted on 09/16/2003 7:12:58 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: Registered
Yeh, we need to start a thread on things you can do to avoid washing your hands after using a public bathroom....nobody's mentioned using your shoe to flush the john..Next?

The "Look Ma, No Hands" shake.

37 posted on 09/16/2003 7:13:04 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: VRWC_minion
If however, I use the sink to clean I may contact the faucet,

FORTUNATELY they are going to those 'proximity' switches that then snap the water on and off ...

38 posted on 09/16/2003 7:13:52 AM PDT by _Jim (Resources for Understanding the Blackout of 2003 - www.pserc.wisc.edu/Resources.htm)
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To: bedolido
I never wash my hands in public bathrooms. I never touch anything in public bathrooms if at all possible (Which would include their faucets and towel dispensers). I kick doors open and flush with my foot. (And ONLY flush in a way that I can quicky RUN from the area before the SPEW from the flushing toilet rises into the air.)

If someone catches something from me, sobeit. But I'm not putting myself in a position to catch something from someone else, if at all possible. Survival of the fittest!!
39 posted on 09/16/2003 7:13:53 AM PDT by A Broken Glass Republican
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To: mewzilla
Most restrooms at airports don't HAVE doors. The entries are serpentine line-of-sight blockers, and you can walk right up to the urinal without first touching ANYTHING.

Michael

40 posted on 09/16/2003 7:14:46 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: TontoKowalski
The "Look Ma, No Hands" shake.

Well the Japanese still Bow instead of shake hands. Unless in the west.

41 posted on 09/16/2003 7:15:00 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: _Jim
San Francisco: males, 20 percent; females, 41 percent

You think San FRansico needs a category for transexuals using the female lav ?

42 posted on 09/16/2003 7:15:20 AM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Wright is right!
What if you use a stall?
43 posted on 09/16/2003 7:16:04 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: _Jim
FORTUNATELY they are going to those 'proximity' switches that then snap the water on and off ...

Still and issue with the towels. Personally, I will wash when the switches are their and the automatic electric driers are installed. Otherwise, I'll wait till later (unless I missed).

44 posted on 09/16/2003 7:17:19 AM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
I always wash my hands and NEVER touch the doorknob on the way out.

How on earth do you get out? Almost all of the doors swing inward.

45 posted on 09/16/2003 7:17:20 AM PDT by Gritty
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To: bedolido
San Francisco: males, 20 percent; females, 41 percent

This is an interesting anomaly. In all other airports women had a much higher rate of hand washing than males. Here it is reversed.

46 posted on 09/16/2003 7:17:43 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: bedolido
Survey says: Except for San Francisco, 99% of males, sometime in their lifetime, will put their "pee-pee" into a girls "pee-pee" --- utterly disgusting!
47 posted on 09/16/2003 7:18:36 AM PDT by TRY ONE (NUKE the unborn gay whales!)
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To: VRWC_minion
You think San FRansico needs a category for transexuals

Those stats for San Fran are skewed aren't they? Maybe the researcher had trouble differentiatin/determining the current study subject's gender and was limited between the only two categories he/she had to select on the research results-form ... recommened only for San Fran study next time following categories: o Male o Female o Don't_know

48 posted on 09/16/2003 7:19:56 AM PDT by _Jim (Resources for Understanding the Blackout of 2003 - www.pserc.wisc.edu/Resources.htm)
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To: VRWC_minion
Still an[d] issue with the towels.

Maybe you can tell us how the towels become 'soiled' pre-use?

49 posted on 09/16/2003 7:21:48 AM PDT by _Jim (Resources for Understanding the Blackout of 2003 - www.pserc.wisc.edu/Resources.htm)
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To: TRY ONE
I love your tag... "NUKE the unborn gay whales".
50 posted on 09/16/2003 7:22:13 AM PDT by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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