NEW YORK -- A recent survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide Research for the Soap Detergent Association here found some gaps in the American consumer's knowledge of health and hygiene.
While the majority of Americans understand that it's important to keep kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean to maintain good health (91% and 88% respectively), most do not think regular dusting is important to their overall physical well-being. In fact, only 45% of respondents rank dusting as important.
SDA notes in its summary report that household dust contributes to respiratory irritations and allergies, and that regular dusting, along with laundering bed linens, cleaning glass surfaces and vacuuming, can help reduce allergy symptoms caused by dust.
There are additional health facts the majority of respondents seem to be unaware of. For example, 65% of Americans don't realize that it's important to leave disinfectants on surfaces for a specified length of time to get their full germ-killing benefits.
In addition, 20% of Americans do not know that germs can live longer on damp than on dry surfaces, and 31% aren't aware that washing hands with warmer water is more effective. Finally, 43% of respondents aren't aware that taking a longer time with lathering is another way to reduce risk of transferring germs.
SDA advises people to wash their hands with warm water before preparing and eating meals, after using the bathroom or diapering a child, after handling a pet, and before and after coming into contact with someone who is sick.
Moreover, at least 10-15 seconds of lathering time is needed to wash one's hands, says SDA. Those who want extra protection can use antibacterial soap.