We’ve all been taught to wash our hands after using the restroom. But not everyone does.
Fox News host Pete Hegseth said on Sunday that he hasn’t washed his hands in 10 years. “Germs are not a real thing,” he said. “I can’t see them, therefore, they’re not real.”
However, scientific research suggests that washing up after going to the bathroom, especially if you might have feces on your hands, is an effective way to combat infection and illness.
In a pinch, even rinsing your hands with cold water helps prevent the spread of bacteria.

We all know what we’re supposed to do after using the toilet.

But survey after survey (including one in which scientists secretly camped out in bathrooms) have revealed a dirty truth: people don’t always wash their hands before they leave the bathroom. One study suggested that only 67% of people wash their hands after they go.

On Sunday, Fox News host Pete Hegseth said he hasn’t washed his hands in a decade.

“I inoculate myself,” Hegseth said. “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them, therefore they’re not real.”

He’s now encouraging others to follow his lead and use the hashtag #DontWash.

But Don Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers, has been studying hand washing for years and says the conventional wisdom on hand hygiene shouldn’t be ignored.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re peeing or you’re pooping, you should wash your hands,” he told Business Insider.

Here’s why.

Germs can hang out in bathrooms for a long time

Each trip to the restroom is its own unique journey into germ land. So some occasions probably require more washing up than others.

“If you’ve got diarrhea all over your hands, it’s way more important that you wash your hands than if… you didn’t get any obvious poop on your fingers,” Schaffner said. “My gosh, if you’ve got poop on your hands and you have the time, certainly, get in there, lather up real good and do a real good job.”

Compared to feces, urine can be pretty clean when we’re not harboring any infections, though it’s not totally sterile.

“People who use urinals probably think they don’t need to wash their hands,” Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said to the New York Times. (In studies, women tend to be better about adhering to hand washing than men.)

But it’s best to wash your hands after every trip to the toilet because human feces carry pathogens like E. coli, Shigella, Streptococcus, hepatitis A and E, and more.

You can also easily catch norovirus by touching bathroom surfaces that have been contaminated with a sick person’s poo or vomit, then putting your hands into your mouth. The super-contagious illness is the most common food poisoning culprit, and causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.

A wide variety of other microbes and bacteria can …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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Do you really have to wash your hands every time you use the bathroom? The definitive answer, according to science

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