Search This Blog

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Handshakes ain't what they used to be...

The news about hygiene is out now and the results are disturbing. According to an article on the BBC News site - scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine swabbed 409 people at bus and train stations in five major cities in England and Wales. According to the research, more than one in four commuters has bacteria from faeces on their hands, an investigation suggests. The study was part of the world's first Global Hand-washing Day, dedicated to raising awareness about the importance hand hygiene plays in public health.

'We were flabbergasted by the finding that so many people had faecal bugs on their hands' said Dr Val Curtis, director of the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The further north the researchers went, the more often they found commuters with faecal bacteria on their hands - men in Newcastle were the worst offenders.

'In Newcastle and Liverpool, men were more likely than women to show contamination - 53% of men compared with 30% of women in Newcastle and 36% of men compared with 31% of women in Liverpool.' I'm deinitely going to remember that next time I'm in either of those places.

Newcastle - men 53%, women 30%
Liverpool - men 36%, women 31%
Birmingham - men 21%, women 26%
Cardiff - men 15%, women 29%
Euston (London) - men 6%, women 21%

Ugh...imagine when you are shaking hands with people which after all is a perfectly normal, sociable thing to do and they have the remnants from last night's vindaloo (via their intestines!) all over their hands!! It just doesn't bear thinking about!

However, the following data suggests that the urban myth about manual workers and laborers being dirty may not be as accurate as first thought.

'Manual workers had cleaner hands than other professionals, students, retired people or the unemployed.'

Ok...I'm off...where's the soap!

No comments: