BOSTON — In the latest observational study sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology
(ASM) and the American Cleaning Institute
(ACI), 85 percent of adults washed their hands in public restrooms, compared with 77 percent in 2007, according to a press release.
The results were announced at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
, an infectious disease meeting sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology, the release noted.
On behalf of ASM and ACI, Harris Interactive
discreetly observed 6,028 adults in public restrooms in August 2010 to note whether or not people washed their hands, the release stated.
"We are really pleased to see these results, which suggest that our campaign is being effective," said ASM spokesperson Dr. Judy Daly, director of clinical microbiology at Children''s Primary Medical Center
in Salt Lake City.
"Although the venues were different, our first observational study in 1996 found only 68 percent overall washing up in public restrooms and that declined to an all-time low of 67 percent when we repeated the study in 2000. We hope that as a result of an increased focus on hand washing in the media over these years, as well as increased public awareness of infectious disease risks, behavior really is changing," Daly added.