As reported by the European Cleaning Journal, a significant percentage of people have changed their behaviour with regard to hygiene after the outbreak of Swine flu, or H1N1. That’s according to the 2010 Hygiene Matters study by SCA, which analysed habits in 10 countries.

SCA questioned 500 people in each of the participating countries — Australia, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the USA. There were four themes: ‘Everyday life in the wake of the pandemic’, ‘Hygiene in the school environment’, ‘Hygiene information for the masses’ and ‘Hygiene and health information of tomorrow’.

Among the findings:
• 77 percent of the respondents wash their hands more frequently than before
• 51 percent feel toilets in schools need to be improved
• 42 percent mentioned restaurants and 37 percent mentioned public transport as public areas where they regularly notice a poor level of hygiene.

From these comments, the study concludes that the implementation of more rigorous cleaning regimens is high on the agenda for facility services department.

“In an office building, for instance, protocols might call for increased object cleaning such as computer keyboards, door handles and extra toilet seat cleaning,” said Dr. Rolf Andersson, senior advisor in hygiene for SCA.

China has seen the most remarkable change in behaviour — 39 per cent stated they travel less than before the outbreak of the flu epidemic. This is in direct contrast to the Mexicans at just 13 per cent.

For more information and to see a copy of the report, visit