The Challenge

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How can we improve sanitation and better manage human waste in low-income urban communities? read the brief

Contribution

Soap and warm water to wash hands

I am surprised of how many males in western world does not bother to clean their hands after bathroom visits in restaurants. They are possibly spreading bacteria around all door handles and things they touch for hours after.
I understand that in un-developed world it is hard to have facilities that helps this issue, and sometimes they have simply a wall that they stroke off their fingers on after the visit.
But in western world we show good example and try to find the best solutions to this potential pandemic-spreading problem.
There is a slogan for a hand-soap-producer : just 10 seconds of washing kills almost 90% of germs ( i am not sure if it is true, but is good way to change behaviour )
I have one or two behaviour-changing concepts in this topic already. One i have submitted to the Acumen-Challenge. But here in this inspiration I will list a couple of smart methods and technologies I have seen in different bathrooms throughout Europe. And I hope that you will add in the comment field solutions that you have seen in other parts of the world that is :
Helping with the attitude towards washing hands Or about old or new methods how people manage without using/wasting as much water or energy or towels.




At bathrooms they can equip faucets, taps and soap dispensers to the "hands-free" way. One simply move the hand some inches below the water tap to make it start for 10-15 seconds. Same with Soap dispenser. So you would not need to push a button that is touched by hundreds of people before you.




I have seen in airport-bathrooms hand-cleaners & driers that operate with water vapor mixed with sanitising/bacteria-killing spray. you put your hands in a pocket in the wall, it is in two seconds fastly sprayed with the mix of alcohol and water mist, and in next 3-5 seconds it blows high pressured air of just above body temperature, so no unneccessary water or electricity is wasted.




And of course automatic door openers for bathrooms is useful, to prevent people from having to touch the handle.




In very modern food-producing industry I have seen automatic hand sanitisers that staff walk through at the start and end of each shift, as well as on the way in and out of the lunch/break-room.

Comments

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Stewart Yardley

October 31, 2013, 07:12AM
Regardless of where the location is, everyone should practice good hygiene on a daily basis even if everyone starts small. Some places might practice tight water saving techniques, but that should not be an excuse to avoid practicing good hygiene habits. This is especially critical when it comes to regular bathroom visits which comprise at least 75% of a person's regular daily activities. That means germs and bacteria lurk around almost an entire day around and on a person. That is why sanitation is important.
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