A research carried out by hygiene experts from Queen Mary University of London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has found that a quarter of the population in UK has faecal bacteria on their hands. This research shows the importance of hand hygiene and the use of hand sanitizers.
The research found faecal matter on 26% of hands, 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards in the UK. The surprise being that over 11% of hands carry more germs than a toilet seat. A simple act of washing hands can save up to one million lives a year globally and is the most cost effective method in prevention of spread of diseases, according to an UN report.
The main problem behind poor hand hygiene was found to be the lack of knowledge on proper hand washing. Just wetting hands, is not enough to prevent the spread of germs. Hands have to be properly washed using soap with equal focus given to the back of the hands and the front. Properly drying the hands is also vital, with preference to paper towels against germ carrying cloth towels.
Employers have now come to understand the importance of proper hand hygiene and its relation to employee productivity. In absence of proper facilities, hand sanitizers and gels should be carried to avoid contamination especially in high density public places.