The Dutch are the least hygienic country in Europe, a survey by GallUp has revealed. Only 50 percent of Dutchies surveyed washed their hands each time, automatically with soap and water after using the toilet.
Obviously, washing your hands after using the toilet (and before eating) helps to prevent disease and keep a population healthy. Particularly for diseases that affect the intestinal system, handwashing can reduce transmission by up to fifty percent. Although these types of diseases do not affect the Netherlands as much as other countries, clean hands are always a bonus – especially at wintertime when there are plenty of illnesses going around. Especially in this season, where the coronavirus is spreading through the world and Europe, it’s high time that Dutchies washed their hands.
Dutch mothers teach their children not to pee on their hands
But in the Netherlands, hand washing does not seem to be a big part of the toilet-going culture. Some Dutchies we asked actually thought it was good that most Dutch people did not wash their hands after going to the toilet: “Dutch mothers teach their children to not pee on their hands,” Joe said. But as another DutchReviewer, Carlos said, pee is far from the only problem and even if you’re able to pee standing up, one would hope you wash your hands afterwards.
Not washing your hands is very common
Some expats confirmed the prevalence of non-hand washing in their workplaces. Andra said for example: “I work in a building where a couple of smaller companies are sharing a bathroom. Every day I see women who either don’t wash their hands at all after using the toilet or keep their hands under the water for 3 seconds (without any soap) and call that a proper wash. It’s sad, shocking and disguising.” It was a common theme: Fiona said “I was in the Magna Plaza in Amsterdam there was a very big queue to use the toilet and while I was waiting I was shocked that hardly anyone washed their hands!”
Lack of soap in bathrooms
But there is more to the story than that: some expats’ colleagues did actually wash their hands after using the bathroom. And Berk and Suzanne remarked that there was a real lack of soap in Dutch bathrooms as well.
Here’s a map of Europe showing how often do people wash their hands. Sure, the map is a bit off because Kosovo is to the East of Romania (where Moldova should be), and there’s also no Belgium. So take this map with a pinch of salt.
The @WHO says hand-washing is single most important factor to prevent the spread of illness.
Unfortunately, research by @Gallup has found that many Europeans do not wash their hands after the toilet, with rates as low as 50% in Netherlands and 57% in Italyhttps://t.co/VSRncO50RW pic.twitter.com/pj2Um5NW6f
— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) February 26, 2020
What do you think- do the Dutch wash their hands enough? Let us know in the comments below.
Feature image: Burst/Pexels.