Promoting safe hygiene practices in public restrooms: a pilot study

J Environ Health. 2014 Nov;77(4):8-12.


The study described in this article examined the impact of hygiene posters in promoting safe hygiene practices for used toilet tissue disposal in public restrooms. Although the long-held hygiene norm in homes for the disposal of used toilet tissue in a container may occur in the rural U.S., it is critical in public environments to promote proper toilet tissue disposal in toilets to reduce potential transmission of bacteria and viruses. A control group time series design was used for observations of used toilet tissue disposal on the floor or in large trash cans in restrooms with and without signage for a two-week period. A significant decrease in observations was reported at intervention sites with posters (p = .025). No significant differences were reported at the control site. Posters were effective in motivating behavior change beyond hand hygiene. Further research may examine the impact of health posters in other environmental settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Health Communication*
  • Hygiene / standards*
  • New Mexico
  • Pilot Projects
  • Toilet Facilities*