Other bad behaviors in public restrooms

We’re in the midst of National Clean Hands Week, in case you didn’t know. So it’s time for another study that shows Americans to be neglectful about washing their hands when using a public restroom. Commissioned by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association, the latest of these research extravaganzas monitored people’s behavior at public restrooms in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. (Sadly, the study did not include men’s rooms at the Minneapolis airport, which might have further enlivened the findings.) Eighty-eight percent of the women washed their hands, vs. 66 percent of the men. And the lapse in physical hygiene is often matched by a failure of moral hygiene. You see, the project also included a telephone survey that asked people whether they always wash their hands when using a public restroom. In that polling, 96 percent of women and 89 percent of men claimed they do—which means, of course, that lots of them were not telling the truth. Clearly we need a National Clean Souls Week, too.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver