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American Hygiene Habits Getting Worse: International Study Reveals More Illness-Causing Germs Than Ever in American Kitchens
Date:7/14/2009

PARSIPPANY, N.J., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- American hygiene habits are going downhill and kitchen surfaces continue to harbor illness-causing bacteria that can threaten families, according to a new international study released today from the Hygiene Council, sponsored by LYSOL((R)) brand products. Investigators swabbing for bacteria in the United States and around the world found that, despite American home owners claiming to clean their kitchen sink faucet handles at least once per week, 60 percent of faucets analyzed failed the hygiene test for having unsatisfactory or heavily contaminated levels of bacteria that come from feces or can cause skin infections. This is dramatically worse than 2008 when only 25 percent of kitchen faucets failed.

Of the eight countries participating in the 2009 global study, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa and Saudi Arabia all had cleaner kitchen sink faucets than the United States. While the United States fared better than much of the world in other rooms of the home, it continued to lose the battle against germs in the kitchen, one of the places where families spend the most time.

The new study also found that 65 percent of Americans claim to clean or change their kitchen sponge or cloth every month or more, but 70 percent of American sponges analyzed failed the hygiene test. This is only a 5 percent improvement over 2008, when 75 percent failed the hygiene test -- concerning because analysis of the new swabs revealed that U.S. sponges harbored E. coli, which can cause urinary tract infections and diarrhea. Kitchen cloths and sponges proved, once again, to be the germiest item in the home, which only 20 percent of homeowners predicted.

"Given the recent influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, it is more important than ever that Americans make hygiene a priority for their families. Parents' intentions are good, but results can b
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SOURCE LYSOL
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