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Handwashing and hand drying go hand-in-hand
On Global Handwashing day don’t forget the importance of proper hand drying in delivering optimal hygiene
12 Oct 2018

Brussels, Belgium – 12 October, 2018 – Today is Global Handwashing Day and this year focuses on the links between handwashing and food, with the message ‘Clean Hands a Recipe for Health’.

The European Tissue Symposium (ETS) fully supports the initiative and underlines the importance of proper hand drying alongside washing in completing the whole process and minimising the spread of infection.

New research in real-life settings demonstrates that the hand drying method used can affect the risk of bacterial dissemination in washrooms. A multi-site study*, led by Professor Mark Wilcox of the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and undertaken in hospital washrooms in France, Italy and the UK examined the extent of environmental contamination from potential bacterial pathogens according to hand drying method. It found washrooms equipped with paper towels for hand drying have significantly less bacterial contamination while antibiotic-resistant bacteria - including MRSA and ESBL-resistant enterococci – were detected more frequently in washrooms using jet air dryers.

Choice of hand drying method plays an important part in maintaining health,” explains Fanis Papakostaschairman of ETS. “Viruses and bacteria can survive on the hands for some time if they are not washed and dried correctly and we would encourage everyone to build on the Global Handwashing Day theme and make hand drying with a single use towel a recipe for health.”

Global handwashing day marks the crucial work undertaken by a coalition of international stakeholders in educating and motivating people to protect their own health and that of those around them through proper hand hygiene. A global public-private partnership of government agencies, multilateral organisations, corporations, NGOs and academic institutions it recognises hygiene as a pillar of international development and a priority behaviour that impacts public health, nutrition, education, economic development and equity.

* You can read the entire Multi-site study here & make sure to watch the video to learn more about it.


For further information on Global Handwashing Day and for more details on bacteria dissemination during hand drying please click on the links below:

About ETS

ETS is the European Tissue Paper Industry Association. The members of ETS represent the majority of tissue paper producers throughout Europe and around 90% of the total European tissue production. ETS was founded in 1971 and is based in Brussels. For more information:

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