Proper Handwashing Helps Protect Against SARS and Other Viruses

MUNDELEIN, Ill. -- Reports about severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have increased public concern about the potential presence of viruses, bacteria and germs. Health experts agree that frequent and thorough handwashing is the best defense against a variety of germs and infections, including bacteria transmitted by sneezing and coughing to surfaces we touch.

"Unfortunately, many people don't like using the restrooms at work, restaurants, malls and other public places," says Jerry McDermott, vice president of Technical Concepts. "Often, people don't take the time to wash their hands properly."

He adds that many people are reluctant to touch the public restroom fixtures, fearing they are coated with germs.

"Research by Technical Concepts and studies we have gathered all confirm that bacteria is, indeed, often present on restroom fixtures," says McDermott, whose company manufactures touch-free faucets, soap dispensers and flushers activated by sensors that eliminate the need to touch a potential source of cross contamination. "Nevertheless, proper washing reduces germs already on our hands, and minimizes our exposure to bacteria that might be in the restroom."

McDermott says most people simply rinse their hands, which is not enough. The Centers for Disease Control and other sources recommend the following procedures, especially after using a restroom and before eating:

1. Wet your hands, then lather them with soap

2. Rub them together vigorously for at least 15 seconds

3. Cover the backs of yours hands, between fingers, and even your


4. Try to remove dirt from under your fingernails

5. Rinse well with warm water

6. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel

7. Use the towel to turn off the faucet, and dispose of it properly

To simplify this process in public washrooms, more and more buildings are installing touch-free restroom fixtures that are activated when hands are placed in front of sensors.

"With an automatic faucet, no one has to worry about the last step -- turning off the faucet," says McDermott. "No one has to touch an automatic soap dispenser, and the One Shot Automatic Soap dispenser from Technical Concepts provides the perfect amount of soap."

Today's advanced automatic faucets also provide water that's the right temperature. "If the water is too cold or too hot, people will be discouraged from washing. For one thing, repeated exposure to hot water can cause dermatitis and chapped hands."

Technical Concepts provides automated restroom hygiene solutions throughout the world. Its Touch Free Restroom components include Auto Flush, Auto Faucet, One Shot Auto Soap System, Auto Clean, and a complete range of automatic air freshener dispensers and refills.

Source: Technical Concepts