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1 in 5 People Don't Wash Their Hands After Bathroom Breaks

Update Date: Oct 15, 2013 04:21 PM EDT

"Employees must wash their hands before returning to work" signs are ineffective. A new survey revealed that one in five people don't wash their hands after going to the restroom.

British researcher found that 10 percent of people just splash their fingers with water rather than washing them and 40 percent clean their hands for less their 10 seconds, which is half the time required to kill germs.

The UK poll also revealed that 25 percent of people only wash their hands between three to five times a day, which is significantly less than the recommended eight to 10 times.

The study revealed the men are far worse than women at washing their hands. Researchers found that men are twice as likely not to use any soap at all.

"No-one would willfully want to touch or eat feces but that is what millions of us are doing every day by not washing our hands," said Dr. Bob Adak, head of the gastrointestinal diseases department at Public Health England, according to the Daily Mail.

"Many diseases are spread through fecal matter so if we all improved our hygiene this could prevent many infections and stop people becoming unwell," Adak added.

Hygiene experts recommend that people wash their hands with warm water and soap or an antibacterial hand wash for at least 20 seconds.

"With the average person carrying over 10 million bacteria on their hands alone, this is big news in the battle to prevent bacteria and virus spread," said hygiene expert Dr. Lisa Ackerley, according to the Daily Mail.

"I would recommend washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap or anti bacterial hand-wash, ideally for a minimum of 20 seconds," she said. "Be sure to dry your hands properly after washing, as harmful bacteria spread more easily on wet or damp hands."

Ackerley added that good hand hygiene could potentially reduce the risk of diarrhea for 47 percent and save a million lives worldwide. 

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