Washing your hands and drying them with a paper towel considerably reduces the spread of viral and bacterial infections transmitted by touch. Carefully drying your hands is also part of good hand hygiene.
You should wash your hands often enough: before eating, after going to the toilet, before and after preparing or serving food, as well as after touching an animal or visiting someone with the flu, for example.
Good hand hygiene reduces illness and absences from work
According to World Health Organization, washing hands with soap and water is the most effective way to fight infections. Drying hands with a disposable paper towel is, in turn, the most effective means to remove the bacteria remaining on the hands. Paper towels are superior compared to drying with air or a cloth.
Did you know that...
- up to 80% of various infectious diseases are spread by hand contact.
- illnesses and absences from work cost a lot of money to society, employers and the employees themselves. Illnesses cause a considerable amount of absensces from schools and day care, as well.
- the cost of good hand hygiene are minimal when compared to the costs caused by diseases.
- kissing is more hygienic than shaking hands. According to a study conducted in the United States and Great Britain in 2007, there is a greater risk of spreading viruses by handshake than by kissing. Should you however want to shake hands, then careful and regular washing of the hands with soap and drying them with paper is one of the most effective ways to avoid infections.
Good hand hygiene has a positive effect on health
Up to 80% of common infections are spread by hands. Viruses and bacteria can be transmitted by handshake or by touching objects such as door handles. Your computer keyboard and mouse, too, are a breeding ground for germs. Certain flu viruses can survive on smooth surfaces for as long as 72 hours.
Washing hands thoroughly, drying them on a paper towel and then using hand desinfectant reduces infections by up to 70%.
Paper towel - the most hygienic way to dry your hands
Studies clearly show that disposable paper that wipes microbes off the skin is an undeniably better option than washable cotton towels with their heavier ecological footprint, or electric driers that spread bacteria all over the bathroom with the air they blow.
Nature loves paper towels too
Paper towels made from tissue are fully recyclable.
On average, a European person uses 10 kg of tissue per year. In one second, Finnish forests grow enough to cover the amount of tissue used by 70 Finns in a year.
The right way to wash your hands
- Wet your hands. Always use warm water if you can.
- Take soap.
- Wash your hands carefully. Don't forget your finger tips, the back of your hands and your wrists.
- Wash the soap from your hands for 10 seconds.
- Dry your hands carefully.