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Guys: Start Washing Your Hands!

One of the best ways to protect your health from disease, and specifically the flu, is also the easiest: Washing your hands with plain soap and water, and not antibacterial compounds that can do more harm than good.

Although many say they believe in handwashing, not as many of you -- especially men -- actually do it.

More than 90 percent of American adults say they always wash their hands after using public restrooms, but not as many -- 83 percent -- really did. Overall, women washed their hands more often by far (90 percent) than men (75 percent) based on a study of more than 6,000 people in six major urban venues across the country, including Shedd Aquarium (Chicago), Grand Central Station (New York) and Turner Field (Atlanta).

The greatest divide between men and women and handwashing was found New York's Penn Station where 92 percent of women and only 64 percent of men washed their hands. Surprisingly, baseball must bring out the worst in both sexes, as an frightening 26 percent failed to wash their hands at Turner Field.

I also urge you to take great care when washing your dishes, as antibacterial dish soap contains triclosan, a chemical that mixes with the chlorine in tap water to create chloroform, a cancer-causing agent and possible human carcinogen.

Science Daily September 22, 2005

MSNBC September 21, 2005

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