I wouldn't say I always think about it when going to the toilet
everytime when I see those hygiene-promoting ads
, or somebody walking out
of the toilets without washing her hands
, I ask myself: " Why should I
wash my hands??"
It doesn't make much sense.
Some lab experiments during my course Introduction Microbiology
years ago, but it sure did make an impression). One experiment was to simulate
1. petri dishes with a bacteria cocktail containing
and some cocci et. al
2. Touch it
with your bare hand, 2, 4, 6 and 8 layers of toilet paper
(we used the grey
3. Then leave your hands unwashed, rinse with water or wash them with water and soap.
4. Last parameter
is yes/no using the faucet
There were stunning results in all groups doing these tests: even after using 6 layers
and washing your hands, those damn bacteria
were hitch hiking on your body.
Only after 8 layers of paper + washing
the culturable bacteria were
And who knows about that? Who is going to count 8 layers of toilet paper
Even if you do, there's another problem: the water tap. You're
"safe" if it's one with a handle, push button or an automatic one. But think
about it the next time, do you turn the faucet
open with your dirty
hands, leaving some bacteria behind on the metal? You know, after washing, you
close it with your clean hand and you got your bacteria back.
Last step is the door handle
. If there's one person before you who didn't
wash his/her hand
s, you still can't escape
those "toilet bacteria". Same
problem as with the faucet.
There's an option though if the above doesn't give you a comfortable idea;
something I was told during my tropical hygiene
class: use only your left
hand during your toilet activities so your right hand will stay relatively
for eating and shaking hands.
But regarding those bacteria, you can't escape them, You are never alone.