Hand hygiene

Tork, an Essity brand, is spotlighting stories of Americans who face barriers to washing their hands in public restrooms, showing how this negatively impacts the hygiene and well-being of individuals.

New Research Shows:

• Almost 1 in 3 Americans face barriers to washing their hands in public restrooms.

• Around 1 in 5 Americans experience difficulties using soap or hand towel dispensers due to an injury, health condition, physical capability or as a parent with a child. 

• 1 in 7 Americans cited loud noises as a source of difficulty, either personally or when assisting a child using public restrooms.

• More than 1 in 3 Americans cite lack of cleanliness as a barrier to using workplace or public restrooms.

“Many people around the world experience barriers, discomfort, or anxiety when they try to properly wash and dry their hands in a public or workplace restroom,” says Ron Clemmer, secretariat director of the Global Handwashing Partnership. “We know that hand washing is critical for reducing the spread of disease and having the integrity of good hygiene, but it isn’t easily accessible for everyone.”

“We’re spotlighting these hand hygiene barriers because they can lead to restroom avoidance and can go largely unobserved,” says Amie Kromis, DEI director, Essity North America. “Our ultimate ambition is to explore — and solve for — the ways that the restroom experience could be improved for everyone. Not only is this important for the individual’s ability to use the restroom and wash their hands, but a negative experience in the restroom can impact a businesses’ revenue, as well.”

More than 60 percent of people have a lesser opinion of businesses or venues that provide hand hygiene facilities that are challenging to use. Almost one-third of guests at high-traffic venues (such as sport stadiums) who avoid going to the restroom (in high-traffic venue) limit how much they eat and drink to do so.