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Hand washing: You’re probably doing it wrong

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A new study found only about one-third of people don’t use soap and only five percent washed their hands long enough to properly kill germs after using the bathroom.

Researchers at Michigan State University said past studies suggested there was a much higher rate of proper hand washing, with more than 90% of adults saying they always wash their hands, but that rate is apparently actually inflated.

The study researchers observed more than 3,700 people in public restrooms and found that people only spend an average of about six seconds washing their hands.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it takes 15 to 20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and water to effectively kill germs, and that insufficient hand washing contributes to nearly half of all food-borne illness outbreaks.

The study found 95% of people they observed did not wash their hands long enough to kill germs.

The study found men were especially bad about proper hand washing.  Fifteen percent of men didn’t wash their hands at all (compared to seven percent of women); and only half of the men who did wash up used soap.