Germaphobes Get a Handle on Bathrooms

Inventors help the wary leave the loo without touching doorknobs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 2:40 PM CST
A promotional hand-sanitizer targets users of shared computer keyboards. Products like 'Purell' and other hand-sanitizers have become big business in the past few years.   ((c) buncheduptv)
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(Newser) – For germaphobes, few sights elicit as much terror as doorknob in a public bathroom. Sure, you washed your hands, “but then someone else didn’t wash their hands and you have to touch the same door handle,” explains the inventor of the SanitGrip, an L-shaped, elbow-operated handle that helps just-cleaned hands stay that way. And he's not the only one grabbing the hygienic opportunity, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Automated and foot-operated doors, and even automatic disinfectant dispensers, are flooding the market. Studies show 34% of males and 12% of females don’t wash their hands after relieving themselves, but one preventive-medicine expert urges less worry: “It’s good to be clean, but one can become obsessive.”