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ACI survey finds decline in handwashing practices since beginning of pandemic
As we commemorate Global Handwashing Day today (October 15th), the American Cleaning Institute reports a 14-percentage point decline in frequent handwashing since the start of the pandemic, according to a new national survey.
The research, which was conducted by Ipsos for ACI, both in March and again in September 2020, tracked changes in consumer cleaning behaviours spanning the first six months of the pandemic in the US.
During a time when cases of Covid-19 are back on the rise and many of us are preparing for cold and flu season, this decline in handwashing can put people at risk. According to the Global Handwashing Partnership, handwashing is known to help reduce the spread of outbreak-related pathogens and can reduce acute respiratory infections by 20%.
Additional findings from the ACI survey show that hand sanitiser use is on the rise (62% in September versus 46% in March). While hand sanitiser plays an important role in reducing germs when soap and water are not available, handwashing remains the gold standard to reducing disease transmission in communities.
"Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of the most simple and effective measures to take in the fight against Covid-19 and other easily transmittable diseases," says Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO. "As we gear up for the coming cold and flu season, we hope to equip everyone with the knowledge and tools they need to practice proper handwashing."
Important handwashing tips include:
* Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
* Take note of the following key times to wash your hands:
• Before, during and after preparing food
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick
• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• After handling garbage
• After directly handling dirty laundry
* If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitiser as an alternative. For use against Covid-19, look for an alcohol-based sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content.
For more information about Global Handwashing Day and ways to integrate proper handwashing as a long-lasting habit, visit:
15th October 2020