Tag Archives: handwashing

How to dry your hands with one paper towel

Handwashing stories are among the hardy perennials of medical journalism, as handwashing is among the leading exhortations of infectious disease specialists: It’s not done enough, it’s not done correctly. I understand the importance of handwashing — I learned about Ignaz Semmelweis from a children’s TV show back when I was a child — but I can’t help feeling that some of the handwashing messages involve a bit of victim-blaming.

Then along comes Joe Smith, a lawyer and sometime state politician in Oregon. In 2012, he gave a TEDx talk about how to dry your hands after washing them in a public washroom using only one paper towel, even the flimsy recycled kind, thus saving millions of pounds of paper towel a year. Continue reading →

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