“The human hand is an incredible tool – and a deadly threat”

Hand washing with mobile Teal units

Why effective hand washing is SO crucial

Hand washing, undertaken properly, with the right techniques and for the correct duration is a vitally important activity. If you want some very compelling reasons why, you need to look no further than a recent article on the Smithsonian Magazine website with just one example citing a recent study revealing that, after an overnight hotel stay, adults with natural rhinovirus colds actually contaminated around 35% of the 150 tested sites, with given examples including light switches, telephones – and of course the television remote control.

There are plenty more lessons to be discovered in this hugely comprehensive article by Sabrina Sholts, Curator, Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, which lists some extremely thought-provoking examples of hand washing compliance – or more particularly a complete lack of it.

From the horrendous story of Mary Mallon (AKA “Typhoid Mary”) who was deemed to be the source of seven thousand typhoid infections in New York after 1900, (she refused to wash her hands while working as a private cook!) to the pioneering work of Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis (later referred to as the the “father of hand hygiene”), there have been many horror stories and shining examples of best practice, writes Sholts.

Notably the article quotes the physician Robert Eccles, who was passionate in the early 1900’s about the importance of effective hand washing – and did not mince his words when it came to criticising those who would not carry out this most important of activities.

“There is no act of life so dangerous to others as carelessness concerning the condition of our hands.”

Indeed, he reportedly blamed dirty hands for being responsible for more deaths than “bullets, poisons, railway accidents and earthquakes combined.”

A street food caterer washing hands with a Handeman Xtra mobile unit
A street food caterer washing hands with a Handeman Xtra mobile unit

You still need convincing to wash your hands?

The hotel / rhinovirus research referred to (above) observed that the respiratory pathogen (the predominant cause of the common cold), could easily be transferred by – for example – a doorknob or tap.

“In one-third of the trials, the study’s subjects indirectly transferred the virus to other people’s fingertips up to 18 hours after contaminating these surfaces.”

Children touch their faces a lot during outdoor play, says the article. But the frequency of this activity is astounding – quoted as more than 600 times per hour!

But it’s not only children that frequently undertake the high risk of activity of touching their faces. Adults do too, with an example given stating that this happens up to 800 times a day.

As Sholts so wryly observes…

“If this isn’t an argument for hand hygiene, then I don’t know what is.”

The Dirty Secret About How Our Hands Spread Disease »

Encourage children to wash their hands for Global HandWashing Day
Encourage children to learn to wash their hands

Effective mobile hand washing for everyone – wherever they are

Teal produces a comprehensive range of mobile and washing units for every type of hand washing situation for use by anyone who needs to wash their hands effectively, whether they’re in hospital or medical facility, care home, an office environment, temporary accommodation or out in the field on a daily basis.

Mobile hand wash stations can also be hired »

There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact ClassicHandSpa, CliniWash – and now the new WashStand Xtra.