“Men need to get the memo that hand washing is important no matter what,” says Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing & strategic development for Bradley Corporation. “You just can’t argue with the research that says it is the number one way to prevent illness and stay healthy.”

If you don’t want to take the corporate guy’s word for it, then how about listening to 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. He says, “Good ‘hand hygiene’ is one of the most important, and easiest, things we can do to reduce our own risk of getting sick and of spreading germs to others. Thorough hand washing, using soap and warm water for a good 20 seconds, is highly effective in removing bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms from the surface of our skin.”

Do people – and by people we mean living/breathing adults – actually NOT KNOW THIS?!?!

81% of Americans say they’ve seen someone leave a public restroom without washing their hands.

Clearly they don’t because the survey also unfortunately found that more Americans are simply rinsing their hands with water instead of soaping up after using a public restroom. 70 percent admit they’ve skipped the important cleansing step.

We assume when they say “simply rinsing” that does not mean vigorously rubbing hands together in hot water… it’s more likely the quick, obligatory pass through the faucet stream that we’ve seen some women do to give the impression they are “washing” their hands when they know someone is looking. Bravo on the “social performance,” but you’re not fooling anyone ladies.

In addition, 81 percent of Americans say they’ve seen someone leave a public restroom without washing their hands. While most don’t do anything after witnessing a non-washing event, others do take action. Respondents say they avoid contact with anything the non-washer touched, wash their own hands more thoroughly and in general avoid the person.

Finally, the survey shows that Americans go to great lengths to avoid coming into contact with germs in a public restroom. They commonly employ such tactics as: operate the toilet flusher with their foot (64 percent do so); use a paper towel when touching the restroom door (60 percent) and faucet handles (37 percent); and open and close doors with their hip (48 percent).

To that point, we have an official WYSK office rule… everyone uses a paper towel to exit that shared public bathroom we mentioned earlier. When you’ve seen what some of us have seen, you would too.

So tell us… how do your experiences in public restrooms measure up to these survey results?

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