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Unexpected Hand Hygiene Hazard: Filthy Soap

Tuesday, September 10, 2013   (0 Comments)
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Fecal Bacteria Thrives in Some Soap

 A Cleveland Plain Dealer story by Janet H. Cho reports microbiologists at GOJO Industries and other institutions have discovered that a quarter of the soap in public restrooms is so contaminated that it leaves your hands filthier than before you washed them. Charles P. Gerba, professor of microbiology in the University of Arizona's Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, said some of the soap tested contained so much fecal matter you'd almost be better off washing your hands in the toilet after you'd flushed it. Gerba headed a team of researchers that tested more than 500 soap samples that GOJO collected from public restrooms in five cities: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Columbus, Ohio, as reported in the March 2011 " Journal of Environmental Health." GOJO is the company that invented Purell hand sanitizer and also sells factory-sealed soap cartridges it asserts are safer than commonly used soap dispensers filled periodically from bulk containers of liquid soap. Some contamination occurs because the stationery dispensers are very hard to clean, and because sometimes they are filled by workers who have just cleaned toilets and not washed their hands.


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