2004_06_washinghands.jpg

More reason for Gothamist to invest in paper towels, but reconsider the soap futures: It turns out that while most New Yorkers wash their hands, many don't bother using soap to wash them. Hunter College students in a basic research methods class conducted a "nonscientific study" which showed:
- 26.1% women used only water and no soap, compared with 33.7% men who used water but no soap
- 7.4% women did not wash their hands at all, while 19.5% men didn't wash their hands at all
The students observed 2,341 people for three weeks this spring, most subjects being over 18, at Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the city's major museums, a food court and two department stores (including an upscale one). Other interesting facts:

-Individuals who walked into the restroom with a family member or friend were more likely to wash their hands with soap and water than those who entered without someone they knew.
-People in transportation centers were less likely to wash their hands with soap and water than people in other settings, particularly the "upscale" department store.

Gothamist hopes the nonscientific survey noted whether or not the public restrooms, especially ones at the Port Authority, even had soap. Gothamist is pro-washing-hands-with-soap, although sometimes we feel using the scarily fluorescent watery pink soap at some bathrooms is just like using water. Luckily, we've taken to wearing gloves, like some eccentric old movie star or the crazy lady down the street, so it's all okay.

The CDC on hand hygiene.