From the “Life” section of the Hampton Roads “Daily Press” newspaper:
Q: I’ve always heard that it is essential to wash your hands after using the restroom. But I think hand washing might be hazardous.
You could pick up germs turning the water off after washing your hands. How do you get out of the restroom without touching the door handle?
Hand washing creates a false sense of security and is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., confirms that faucet handles in public restrooms are often contaminated with bacteria. So are bathroom door handles. Touching the handles after washing is counterproductive. Gerba suggests using a paper towel to turn the water on and off and to open the door.
You might carry an alcohol gel for waterless hand sanitizing. A recent study showed that families using alcohol gels were less likely to pass around stomach flu (Pediatrics, September 2005).