US Pharm. 2007;32(10):93-94.

The American Society of Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association studied the washing habits of more than 6,000 people and found that Americans are even less likely to wash their hands after visiting a public bathroom than they were two years ago.

The study found that 77% of men and women washed their hands after using public washrooms in six locations in four major cities: New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco. The researchers discovered that this number is down from 83% when the survey was conducted in the same locations two years ago. According to Judy Daly, PhD, of the University of Utah, a spokesperson for the microbiology society, "The single most important thing we can all do to keep from getting infectious diseases and spreading them to others is to clean our hands." The cleanest city in the survey was Chicago, with 81% of people washing up. This was followed by New York at 79%, Atlanta at 75%, and San Francisco at 73%.

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