back to article Newcastle men dodge post-bog handwash

Researchers probing the delicate matter of just how many of us do the right thing and wash our hands after a trip to the bog have described themselves as "flabbergasted" at just how many Brits have "faecal bugs" on their post-lav mitts. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took samples from 409 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Even after going for a pee


    Yes I am a coward but unless there is splash back I'm not washing after using the urinals.

  2. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Wayay Mon!

    That should be "caught broon-handed"

  3. Goblin

    Gives a whole new meaning

    to "Newcastle Brown".

    Mine's the one with the bog roll in the pocket.

  4. Andrew Halliwell

    re: Newcastle men dodge post-bog handwash


    Too much cleanliness is as bad as too little.

    Immune systems get boosted by a few germs here and there.

    Without them, people get allergies and asthma.

    So big deal, if it was a real problem, where's this plague they're so scared of? It's not as if it's only just started happening. People haven't been washing their hands for decades.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    What doesn't kill you...

    ...only makes you stronger, that's why I say. (-; Always wash your hands when in a hospital though, of course.

  6. John B

    I was told once...

    That a true sign of one's self respect was washing one's hands before going to the toilet, and not after.

    Maybe those northerners heard the same advice...

  7. A J Stiles

    An Oldie but a Goodie

    Linus Torvalds and Bill Gates spotted Theo de Raadt in the Gents' toilets at a computer show. Theo stepped away from the urinal and walked straight out.

    Bill tutted. "Look at that! Microsoft developers always wash their hands after using the toilet!"

    Linus nodded in agreement. "Linux kernel developers always wash *and dry* their hands after using the toilet!"

    Theo shouted back, "Well, OpenBSD developers don't piss on their hands!"

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Thought as much

    I hate to think how high the figures would have been in Glasgow or Dundee......

    Now we will get the hordes of disease carriers wailing "I'm boosting my immunity, cleanliness is bad for you"

    Frankly I cant stand dirty people....for fucks sake soap is less than 40p a bar, I just wish people in this country would learn soap = good, and employers for once would enforce the regulations on personal hygiene rather than ignoring it.

    I've worked for companies where the american parent company group wide rules are that those with poor personal hygiene are pulled aside and told to improve their hygiene standards, or be disciplined. Shame all my managers ignored the issue as "He's a good lad, likes a drink, and its a tricky topic to handle"

    No its not....its simple "You dont meet the personal hygiene standard, we have had complaints from customers and staff about your body odour, go home and get cleaned up and dont come to work without washing again or you will be subject to disciplinary action"

    Lets not even get started on the muppets who claim...I like the "natural" small

    Ugh....and people wonder why people get food poisoning

  9. Anonymous Coward

    This is old news

    I remember there was a campaign a few years ago where they wanted to make sure that restaurant kitchen workers would wash their hands after going to the loo. I have seen many times when going to the public loos in the service stations just how few actually wash their hands after visiting the bog.

    Skull and crossbones because it's poisonous.

  10. Thurstan R McDougle

    Other factors

    Neither the story nor the press release (at mention whether they looked at possible other causes than poor individual personal hygiene, such as:-

    Did the people have the same hand to multi-user object contact profiles in different places? (e.g. London's Oyster card removing the need to handle money/touch a ticket machine etc)

    Travel times of people (and therefore likelihood of using public loos)

    Good/bad design of Public Loos (doors instead of maze entrances, cold water/bad tap design discouraging extended washing, taps you have to turn off AFTER cleaning your hands)

    Were the studies done at the same time of day. (I would expect a greater chance of unclean hands during RUSH hour.)

  11. Aram

    It's only a bit of wee...

    No, it's not.

    Blokes - even if you've "only been for a wee" you do still have to wash your hands with (jarring chord) SOAP! FFS grow up - just because your parents aren't there to remind you, a quick splash of water does not qualify as washing your hands!

    As for not washing one's hands (yes, with SOAP!) after a more, ahem, "involved" toilet trip; that's seriously, seriously gross.

    I choose the flame of purity.

  12. tony72
    IT Angle

    Public transport

    This is why I don't use public transport, except as an absolute last resort. People tell me I'm being squeamish when I say that I feel unclean after a bus trip, well here's my vindication. Yes, those disgusting specimens crowded around you REALLY ARE spreading germs over everything they touch. They're called "the unwashed masses" for a reason, people! Don't even start about winter, when they start coughing and sneezing all over the place.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The research has a significant flaw....

    How often were these said toilets cleaned? Was it as often and to the same standard? All it would take was 1 scruffy begger to have a dump, not wash his hands and then open the door and leave the gents. The next poor sod washes his hands and then leaves the gents, opening the same door and then bingo, he then has someone else's rogue turd remains on his hand.

  14. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    IT Angle

    TB or not TB

    No this is not about conservative pee ermaker Tory B Liar but something just as devastating, the community spirit that will bring us plagues after plagues in the not very distant.

    I live in Stoke on Trent -a valley full of nose pickers. I don't think I ever went to a pub where the natives wash their hands. Seriously, I can only vaguely remember seeing the odd bod do so. Come the revulsolultion will I be the last man standing?

  15. Master Baker

    Brown eyes... burning like fire..

    Back at my old place of work ( going back 10 years now) we had a pakistani worker who used to wipe his arse with his hand. But to be fair to him he did wash afterwards.

    Can they be sure that the poo-matter on peoples hands was caused by them not washing their hands after going to the loo? Could it have been picked-up by them coming in contact with an area that used to have shit on it? Like a bus seat or, for the more adventurous, someone else's arse? 'Bowling with Caroline' anyone?

    Coat, loo, poo, no wash, out the door...

  16. Peter Taffs
    Jobs Halo


    presumably these peope have (in their head) a justification for walking, not washing, and wouldn't mind being challenged about it; so why is this a delicate subject? having said that i've not challenged anybody but it staggers me how many men exit the stall and the washroom without stopping by the sink. Even if they did nothing, the stall lock and handle just can't be clean.

    I bet Jobs has a clean bathroom.

  17. Matt

    Doesn't sound like good science.

    Firstly a public health expert told me that for a man who's just had a wee, you're more likely to pick up bugs from the taps in a public toilet than remove any on balance (if you see what I mean).

    Secondly there's no evidence to suggest Geordies are sicker (at least physically) than the rest of us.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Why would I need to wash my hands AFTER? my d!ck aint dirty..

  19. Steen Hive

    Law of physics..

    No matter how much.shit you throw at a London spiv, it won't stick.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Quelle surprise

    "London based researchers discover another way in which London based researchers are superior to northerners." Not exactly news, is it? For their next startling headline I guess we'll have "London based researchers discover London based researchers talk most clearly and northerners to be least comprehensible." Gercha!

    Though it does remind me that, based on my own observations, salesmen are the least likely cow orkers to wash their hands after going to the bog. Avoid shaking hands with them.

  21. Ross Ryles
    Thumb Down

    Experimental Design

    Is a transport hub really the best place to find 'local people'?

    I suspect the sampling criteria was as follows:

    How can we test people from around the country with the minimal amount of legwork?

  22. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    That frightening sound!

    There you are sitting in your cubicle, reading the Metro or whatever you found, then there is the "sounds". The flush. The cubicle door unlock and open. The toilet door open and close in a flash.

    There was obviously no time for the offender to wash his cacky mitts. So now you come out, you wash, then you know that Mr Cacky-Mitts has just has his hands around his bits and touched the inside door handle. Of course were else has "Cacky-Mitt Man" been touching stuff? Most likely went straight out, then round to the kitchen/canteen and started making tea or cooking up a lunchtime snack in the microwave!!! Arghhhh!

    I'm not one of these paranoid bug types, but a little common decency and manners just so I don't have to spend the next week in bed with some vile guts-ache or the flu, just 'cos you couldn't be bothered to spend 90 secs washing your dirty mitts!

  23. tony72


    "Secondly there's no evidence to suggest Geordies are sicker (at least physically) than the rest of us"

    Umm, have you ever looked at a life expectancy map of the UK? Here's a link to one. Notice how the people that die soonest are the ones that don't wash their hands. Ok, so they also drink too much, chain smoke, and subsist mostly on lard sandwiches, which are all probably contributary factors. However none of that is exactly an advert for those areas, is it?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    lead on your pencil.

    Years ago when I was a spotty teenager and in training at the local college the lecturers used to enforce us washing our hands before and after, as I studied engineering. What with all the oil (no latex gloves in them days), lead, copper, chemicals we'd have to touch and work on. You'd be suprised at how many of the other students went for a slash without washing BEFORE and after.

    Sex, with oil stains and metal filings on a dick, couldn't have been nice.

    Paris, coz she's a real scrubber.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    UN hand-washing day

    <------ Fancy a sniff?

    There was me thinking UN hand-washing day had something to do with not up holding the UN charter when it gets in your way!

    Three diplomats in the UN toilets,

    The first, We Japanese are the most advanced race, See how I have washed and sanitized my hands.

    The second, We Germans are a more advanced race, See how I have washed and sanitized my hands far quicker and more efficiently then you.

    The third, We Slavs are far more advanced then you guys, We don't piss on our hands.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    To all those that think it's fine to omit handwashing!

  27. Lloyd

    It's always annoyed me

    People not washing their hands but touching the toilet door handle on the way out, how do you get out without putting your freshly laundered mitts on the door? Do you wait for the next man to come in? Do you get a bit of bogroll (hoping that dirty hands haven't left fecal matter all over it)? Do you wedge it open, wash your hands again and then kick it shut on the way out? Or do you simply sigh and give up?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depends on what you last did with it...

    The need for men to wash their hands after urinating obviously depends upon where they've been putting their member, and whether they've had a chance to shower in the interim.

  29. andy gibson
    Thumb Down

    door handles

    The clean amongst us use the toilets, wash our hands, then end up having to touch filthy door handles. Let's have some Star Trek type doors.

    PS Save water - wash your hands in the flushing toilet water.

  30. lIsRT

    We need more UV.

    The taps-that-have-to-be-touched are not good, if McDonalds can have the IR sensor ones, why can't they be standard for all public toilets?

    Another solution, which might work in a wider sense:

    The toilets at my workplace have motion-detecting lights, so they're (mostly) only on when occupied.

    How about having a separate circuit which goes on when the motion detector *isn't* picking up anything, and connected to several kW of UV lights?

    Sterilised a few minutes after everyone leaves.

    Might be good for fridges/freezers too, not sure how you'd easily check it's working though.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    The Norovirus (winter vomiting bug), affecting 600,000 - 1million people each year between October to March sounds like fun. Puking up (and down) all week (and at the same time) will be a real treat.

    Can't wait till I next grip those greasy sweaty handrails next time I'm stumbling my way down the aisle of a bus or avoiding falling onto my bum, whilst coming to a stop on the tube. Provided I remember not to lick my hands after, I should be all right. I can wash my hands after my next pee/poop and before eating a sarnie.

    It's meeting people who expect to shake your hand (and recontaminate it) that's the problem. Perhaps this is the reason Professor Catchpole, director of the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections, found significantly more manual workers, who didn't feel the need to tightly grip one an others hands in a show of fealty all the time, were cleaner (had far less poo on their hands) than the office types? Maybe there were other reasons, like. Wash thou hands should've been in the bible.

    Meynd thee divvent farget to wipe thon kakky off yer arse...

  32. Aram

    @AC @ 15th October 2008 12:09

    Good link to Guys, stop, erm, pussy-footing around and just wash your hands, m'kay?

  33. Davey Bee

    Town and gender

    You only mention that overall the incidences of dirty hands were equal between the sexes. But this is misleading, as there were clear differences when broken down by town. Here are the details:

    Newcastle: Men 53%....... Women: 30%

    Liverpool: Men 36%....... Women 31%

    Birmingham: Men 21%.......Women 26%

    Cardiff: Men 15%.......Women 29%

    Euston (London): Men 6%....... Women 21%

    Well done the London men.

    P.S. I'm a Scot, so I'm basically neutral in this

  34. Toastan Buttar

    @Depends on what you last did with it...

    Read the Straight Dope column and get a clue.

    I presume the last thing you did with it was touch it, unless you do some weird wiggly dance to get it out of your pants and through the fly ?

  35. Master Baker

    Dirty feckers

    Everyone is sounding-off about blokeys not washing their hands - what about women? In some towns women had more shit on their hands than blokes did. Overall both males and females had about the same amount of shit on their hands. So why all the blokey-slating?

    On nights out yes you do get blokeys pissing up the alleys but I've also seen woman take a squat next to the nearest car and let rip. With no loo roll it would be impossible for them to dab afterwards, and they would no doubt end up with wet knickers.

    So, women are just as dirty as men.

    Though some of the videos I've seen would suggest they're a whole lot more filthy......

    I'll get me giant tissues...

  36. Aram

    @Dirty feckers

    I couldn't possibly comment on the toilet habits of the <cough> "fairer" sex.

    It's good to see the rich rewards of the struggle of feminists over the decades - the freedom of women to engage in loutish behaviour that has traditionally been the preserve of men.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Newcastle Central

    The toilets at that station quite commonly are in a tragic state. I would avoid using them altogether 99% of the time if it weren't for the fact that National Express East Coast's train toilets are as bad, if not worse and frequently inaccessible due to massive overcrowding. I suppose it could be coincidence that the station is managed by the same company...

  38. Matt

    One more comment if I may

    Mongolian girls drink their mothers urine each day. I believe the first "draw" is the key! Well, I can't say that all do, but certainly a small group I spoke to did :-)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of dirty buggers

    Yuck, it puts you off shaking hands.

    I used to work in a factory where they made a well known brand of sweets, and you would get completely covered in sugar in the course of your work. When people went to the toilet they used to wash their hands before but not afterwards - all they cared about was not getting coloured sugar on their bits.

    You can still buy those sweets, but I don't eat them...

  40. Mark
    Thumb Down

    If I recall correctly

    The flora on the human skin after cleaned is back to normal levels within 30 minutes.

    So your hands are "clean" for less than 20 minutes before it's pretty dirty again.

    And while we're on the subject, I once got around to asking a girlfriend whether the complaint about men keeping the seat up was that the lid was up too. It wasn't. If the lid was up but the seat down, that was good enough.

    Well, what happens when you do a jobbie in the bowl and flush?

    Spume it's called.

    Little bits of what was in the bowl along with a little water comes out of the flush and being small (unlike spray, which does happen too) floats a long way and settles down for a nice shit party on surfaces around the room and maybe out into the rest of the house.

    I had always put the lid down before flushing.

    How many women don't put the lid down?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good point

    Touching the taps and door handles, or the door itself even if it doesn't have one, could easily pick up bugs. I recall hearing about a study of how many bank notes that had traces of drugs on them in the UK, but they neglected to consider that one of the things they tested for was actually part of the paper on the notes.

    Personally I always wash my hands. That said though quite often I don't use the soap, but that is because the cheap liquid soap lots of places use frequently irritates my skin. I'm not talking a little before people start complaining, I'm talking serious itching and redness.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @andy gibson

    You might be onto something, if you mean using the water from the cistern before you flush. But just sticking your hands in the loo when you flush probably won't catch on.

  43. A J Stiles


    How did cavemen ever survive?

    Everything, without exception, is *covered* in bacteria. Even if you do wash your hands, they're only clean until the next time you touch something. A coin. A doorknob. A lightswitch. Anything!

    You might as well just let your body's immune system get used to fighting them off, unless it's already busy fighting off something else.

  44. Matt

    Pr0n ridden PCs

    I try not to think what's on the keyboard and mouse of those porny PCs I spend all day fixing. Not just p1$$ and truds.

    Mine's the one with the alcohol gel in the pocket

  45. Anonymous Coward

    @AC: You're wrong - what doesn't kill you...


  46. Sceptical Bastard

    Dept of Bleedin' Obvious

    "...there is a real problem with people washing their hands in the UK."

    No shit, Sherlock? Anyone who has ever been in a public khazi could've told you that.

    As for the gratuitous pop at Geordies which the story demands....

    The moral is clear: never eat anything within a fifty-mile radius of Newcastle.

    "Why aye, canny lad, are youse gannin' oot for a kebab, like?"

    "Naw, I divent want noone of that diaorhea, pet. I'll just gan t' the nettie, like, then eat a banana soaked in Newcastle Broon"

  47. Anonymous Coward


    Have seen one too many leave the loo without washing. Sorry mate, was brought up that a little soap and water and open the door holding a piece of paper towelling was better than not.

    What inquiring minds want to know..... How do you wash up whilst in a dominatrix outfit?

  48. b166er

    Good grief

    FUD or what.

    I agree it doesn't hurt to be cautious, but Jesus, you have over 2 million bacteria living on your nose right now. Do you think your hands somehow miraculously avoid your genitals and mouth when you sleep? And I suppose none of you have ever had spur-of-the-moment oral sex?????

    You lot'll be the first to go if it all goes tits-up, your immune systems must have been on holiday for the last 2 decades.

    BTW Lloyd, I always turn the handle with the bend where the handle passes through the door (or use a knee/elbow'). Takes more effort, but I figure the people who don't wash their handies didn't make much effort there, so aren't going to make extra effort opening the door.

    This only made the Register as a deliberate North/South flame-bait; keep up the good work!

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