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    Hand Hygiene Habits Improve

    Survey Shows Americans Are Cleaning Up Their Hand Washing Habits
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Sept. 22, 2009 -- Americans get a B- for their hand hygiene in a new survey about hand washing. That grade is up from a C- in 2008.

    The new, improved grade is based on a survey of 888 U.S. adults. The survey, which was conducted by phone in August for the Soap and Detergent Association, gets into the nitty gritty of how often -- or how rarely -- participants wash their hands.

    Here are some highlights from the survey:

    • Half of the participants say they wash their hands more than 10 times daily, up from 36% in 2008.
    • Women wash their hands more often than men do. For instance, 62% of women reported that they wash their hands more than 10 times daily, compared to 37% of men. And 41% of men say they wash their hands six times a day or less, compared to 17% of women.
    • 88% of participants say they "always" or "frequently" wash their hands before lunch.
    • 90% of participants say they always wash their hands after going to the bathroom, up 5% since 2008. But 3% say they never do, which is the same percentage as last year.

    The survey has a margin of error of 3.4%.

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