“I am curious for those of you out there who do not wash your hands regularly – I’m not talking about just once in a rare while, I mean regularly – is it a conscious thing? There must be people who just don’t think it’s necessary.”
Andrew says he can’t believe it’s all about forgetfulness. “Don’t we all know to wash our hands, and some people just choose not to?”
But the study did also show that a sign posted in the restroom reminding visitors to wash their hands resulted in a greater number of men reporting they did wash up. The number of men that self-reported hand washing after toilet use went up from 75 percent to 87 percent.
With men self-reporting their hand washing habits in this study, Andrew believes the actual number is likely quite a bit higher.
“I think this is the halo effect, when you go up and you ask somebody about their behavior and they don’t admit to the bad behavior, obviously your poll is going to be skewed.”
Andrew admits he’s too intimidated to combat the problem himself, actively reminding people in the restroom.
“I always want to say, ‘Come on, you’re going out there to touch things that I’m going to touch, just wash your hands.'”
But what else? Can we trust from this study that a sign works? Andrew wants to get to the bottom of why it appears some people make a conscious choice to not wash their hands.
“Maybe there is somebody who just legitimately does not think that you have to do it, and so they’re making a choice – I’m not going to wash my hands when I leave the restroom.”
Andrew asked listeners to send in an email, that he promised to keep anonymous, with their reasoning for not washing.
“I promise I’m not going to make fun of you, I’m not going to yell at you, because I really want to hear your thoughts on this,” says Andrew. “Maybe I am missing something.”
Below are a few responses offered by KIRO Radio listeners. If you have a reason, please email the show.
My partner does not wash his hands for the simple reason being that we keep our beer in the fridge on the back porch. It saves drinking time to pee off the back porch while obtaining your next beer. Unfortunately we have no running water on the porch
I wash my hands maybe fifteen times a day and use hand sanitizer before meals. I certainly wash after a number two partly because I hope everyone else is. But often don’t wash after I pee and I sometimes wash before i pee. If you shower daily and you are a man your [area] is probably far cleaner than your hands.
Hey I am 15 and I hardly ever wash my hands after using the bathroom, and to be quite honest, even after #2 or picking up dog poop. But this sounds gross, but I haven’t gotten sick or missed a day of school in 5 years. So it’s not like I’m getting sick all the time. This “lifestyle” works for me.