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With the risk of such high levels of bacteria on PCs, Macs and laptops as well as mobile and smart phones due to poor personal hygiene habits it is really important to clean them with a product that can kill the germs

Not washing your hands after going to the toilet is the number one bad habit annoying the UK’s mums. In efforts to keep their families safe from germs, eight out of 10 mums ranked it as their top unhygienic habit.

Other dislikes trying the patience of the country’s mums aiming to improve the personal hygiene in their households are not washing hands before eating (68%) and nose picking (64%). Other distasteful habits picked up in a national poll commissioned by AF International, Europe’s leading manufacturer of PC, office equipment and multi-media cleaning products, were toe nail clippings left in the lounge, picking feet, kissing pets and taking cookery books and laptops into the toilet.

Whilst exposure to germs is beneficial in helping to build up the bodies’ immunity to disease and illness, ongoing and persistent poor personal hygiene can lead to dangerous levels of harmful bacteria and viruses. A report published earlier this year concluded that every year 750 people die and nearly one million people made ill from bacteria and viruses that can be passed or contracted through people failing to wash their hands *1. In the new independent poll of 1000 mums, more than a quarter of reported that their children were laid low by a mystery sickness or unspecified illness for one day or more in the last three months.

From this evidence, it would appear that mums are right to focus on the personal hygiene of family members but the poll findings call into question whether they are focusing their cleaning efforts in the right place.

In spite of increasing evidence that computer keyboards can contain more bacteria than a loo seat *2, a fifth of mums in the poll never clean the family’s PCs, Macs and laptops and a further 28% would only clean them every few months.

Findings from the questionnaire show that mums believe that germs in the home are most concentrated in the toilet and this is the area where they focus their cleaning and hygiene efforts.

But research has shown mobile phones can harbour on average 18 times more living bacteria than a flush on a gents' toilet *3 and another study revealed that one in three people use a mobile phone when on the toilet whilst one in 20 people choose to surf on a laptop *1.

Out of the 75% of mums who do say they regularly clean PCs, Macs and laptops, 43% use a chemical wipe followed by 22.9% who use a damp cloth. Other products they used included baby wipes and spray polish.

“With the risk of such high levels of bacteria on PCs, Macs and laptops as well as mobile and smart phones due to poor personal hygiene habits it is really important to clean them with a product that can kill the germs,” explained Karen Harrison, Marketing Manager at AF International.

“Only specially developed cleaning products used regularly can successfully achieve this. In fact using other products, such as baby wipes and spray polishes, can do more harm than good as they can help to lock down the germs so that they can comfortably breed and the problem is potentially made worse.”

But in spite of continuing to battle with bad hygiene habits, two thirds of mums think that their homes are more hygienic now than in the past. In the poll they say that the main reason why they are not more hygienic is lack of time to clean due to work commitments and caring for their children.

One third of mums feel their hygiene standards are above average and 35% consider they are better than their friends and family.


The poll of 1000 UK mums was conducted on behalf of AF International by OnePoll.

*1 Statistics and research into hand hygiene compiled by the Co-operative Pharmacy as part of its ethical strategy to promote good hand hygiene among local communities and to support the UNICEF Sanitation Project, August 2010 (

The data included analysis of the following:

According to the NHS 850,000 people a year are ill with food poisoning which is also attributed to 500 deaths each year (

The Health Protection Agency infection outbreak reports that around 52,000 a year are ill with gastrointestinal infections ( and 40,000 people suffer with C Diff in primary care organisations and hospitals ( while the National Office for Statistics reported 163 C diff related deaths in 2009 (

*2 Have you got a dirty qwerty? Which?, May 2008 (

*3 How clean is your mobile phone? Which?, July 20101 (


Issued on behalf of AF International by The Vivid Consultancy. For further information contact Laura Edwards or Caroline Rawlinson on 07854 747916, 01684 854420 or email,

Note to Editors

AF International is Europe's leading manufacturer of PC, office equipment and multi-media cleaning products. Established more than 40 years ago, the family owned business based in Leicestershire manufactures in the UK and China and supplies a comprehensive range of screen, keyboard and surface, printer and fax, telephone and multimedia cleaning products and kits to BS EN ISO 9001:2008 certification. Operating in markets throughout Europe, USA, Austria, South America, Far East, Middle East and Africa, the company has supported the professional engineer with its range of technical cleaning products and has been quick to respond to the risk from germs, viruses, dust and dirt, created by the open office environments of today.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of AF International in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit