Report from Vital Vio Reveals the Dirty Truth Behind Americans’ Poor Hygiene and Risky Cleaning Practices
With cold & flu season upon us, findings point to common personal practices
that are good news for germs
Troy, NY — November 19, 2019 — With the average person coming into contact with over 60,000 kinds of bacteria each day, many of which are becoming resistant to antibiotics, the need to follow proven hygiene and cleaning practices are more critical than ever. Vital Vio’s new survey report, “The Dirty Truth,” which polled 1,200 people in the U.S. over the age of 18, found that many aren’t doing their part to clean common surfaces, like mobile devices, light switches and bathrooms or washing their hands prior to eating or after taking public transportation.
“Gaps in American cleaning habits aren’t just creating dirtier spaces, they are putting our families and communities at greater risk of getting sick,” said Colleen Costello, CEO, Vital Vio, maker of antibacterial LED lights. “‘The Dirty Truth’ survey spotlights that most people are blissfully unaware of the bacterial risks they are taking, especially when it comes to the mobile devices they touch and use for hours a day. With the World Health Organization citing germ warfare on par with climate change, and the recent release of the CDC’s 2019 Antibiotic Resistance Threat Report, it’s vital that our society becomes more conscious about how we need to do our part to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and infectious diseases.”
Americans Aren’t Keeping Their Devices Bacteria-Free
Americans’ addiction to their smartphones is making it easier for bacteria and disease to spread. This is because mobile phones are involved in some of peoples’ dirtiest tasks. The majority use their phone while going to the bathroom (88 percent), cooking (89 percent) or riding public transit (80 percent). Almost half of those in the U.S. (46 percent) will also bring their phones into a public restroom every time they go. For all the dirty places smartphones go, Americans don’t prioritize keeping them clean. One in four people (23 percent) have never even cleaned or wiped down their phone. To make matters worse, when their hands are full, two in five people (41 percent) won’t hesitate to put their phones in their mouths, ingesting the harmful bacteria living on their devices.
Outside of smartphones, Americans can get sick from their workplace devices and spaces. This is especially the case if they subscribe to “working lunches.” While half of Americans (48 percent) eat regularly at their desks, one in three (33 percent) clean that same space just once a week. By not prioritizing cleanliness at the office, people are unknowingly adding bacteria and germs they caught from the subway, mail or other coworkers into their food.
Americans Are Spreading Germs Through Travel and in Public Spaces
The risk for catching and spreading bacteria increases when Americans step out their front door, and many aren’t taking the proper precautions to fight it. This includes public transportation, where one in four Americans (23 percent) choose not to wash their hands after traveling on a bus, subway or airplane. Americans aren’t careful about not sharing their germs with other travelers either. Two in five (39 percent) choose to still travel on public transportation when they are sick and three in five (60 percent) will not wipe down areas they’ve touched when traveling while sick.
The only public area people are concerned with is the bathroom, especially when on public transportation. Two in three Americans (68 percent) typically avoid using the bathroom on commercial buses, trains, and airplanes. People are even willing to sacrifice their comfort to avoid using the restroom, with almost half (45 percent) willing to hold their need to use the bathroom for up to two hours, and another one in three (33 percent) willing to “hold it in” for up to five hours.
Americans Are Cleaning Their Homes, Just Not Enough
Results show people clean their homes, but commonly overlook rooms and surfaces where bacteria can thrive. Nine in 10 Americans clean their kitchen once a week (87 percent), but just four in five clean their bathrooms as frequently (80 percent) and just three in five (61 percent) give their home office the same attention. Even if they do clean their homes regularly, many will miss spots that aren’t obviously dirty. Half of those in the U.S. (52 percent) admit they only clean a surface in their home if it has dust, dirt or food residue, increasing the chances that bacteria could exist in a seemingly “clean” home.
People’s predisposition to wipe-down, rather than sanitize surfaces exposes them to unseen risks, including when items like mail or shopping bags are put on top of a counter. The majority (92 percent) may understand the need to clean a counter after preparing meat, but only one in three (37 percent) will do the same after putting mail down and only half (50 percent) will do so after placing down shopping bags. Other risks include high-touch items in the home, such as a light switch or TV remote, that are not part of people’s regular cleaning routine. In the last six months, less than one in three (30 percent) have sanitized their light switches and just one in four (29 percent) have cleaned their TV remotes. Yuck!
For a copy of the full report, “The Dirty Truth”, please visit: https://vitalvio.com/dirty-truth/
ABOUT VITAL VIO, INC.
Vital Vio® is a health tech company and the market leader in antibacterial LED lighting for homes, public places and in industry. The company’s patented technology and applications apply the power of a specific frequency of non-UV light, meeting international standards for continual and unrestricted use around people, pets and plants. This new planet-friendly 21st-century approach to preventing the spread of disease from bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold, and mildew (imagine no more mold in your shower) offers a groundbreaking way to a healthier and cleaner world for us all. For more information, visit www.vitalvio.com.
Stephanie Epstein for Vital Vio