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Global Hand-Washing Day 2018: 6 Reasons Why ‘Clean Hands Are a Recipe for Health’

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

It’s Global Hand-Washing Day, and if you need a reason to celebrate it, Times Now News has six reasons to clap for good hand hygiene. They are:

  • Reducing your risk of various diseases, including diarrhea and pneumonia
  • Keeping your community healthy by reducing respiratory illnesses and colds
  • Avoiding the spread of germs
  • Preventing skin infections such as eczema
  • Preventing serious diseases like hepatitis A from spreading
  • Stopping life-threatening sepsis, which can occur when an existing infection spreads throughout your body

Indeed, hand-washing is a simple and effective way to reduce your exposure to disease-causing germs, thereby lessening your chances of getting sick from many different illnesses. But did you know that regular hand-washing may also reduce the risk associated with chemical exposures?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you may decrease your exposure to flame retardant chemicals using simple hand-washing techniques. These chemicals are added to your furniture, insulation, construction materials and electronics to make the item less prone to burn (even though they’ve been shown to be largely ineffective for that purpose).

The EPA understands the dangers inherent with flame retardant chemicals and not only encourages you to wash your hands frequently if you’re around materials made of flame retardant chemicals to reduce risks associated with exposure, but for parents to have their children wash their hands frequently, too.

Another important message, then, is to make sure that you wash properly, as research shows that 84 to 95 percent of people do not wash their hands long enough to remove germs after using the bathroom — if they wash at all (7 percent of women and 15 percent of men didn’t wash at all in the study). So, here are the five best steps for hand-washing:

  1. Use warm, running water and mild, plain soap
  2. Work up a good lather all the way to your writs for 15 to 20 seconds
  3. Make sure you cover all surfaces including around and below your fingernails
  4. Rinse thoroughly under running water
  5. Thoroughly dry your hands, ideally with a paper towel

Also, take note: Being obsessive-compulsive with hand-washing is not good, either, as it can dry out your skin and possibly allow germs to get in cracked areas. So, maintain a balance. Wash properly, but avoid washing to the point of irritating your skin.

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