The “what I do for science dictates my having to wash my hands before I use the toilet” badge.


Yet another self explanatory badge.


  1. Al

    This one needn’t, surely, be for “disgusting” purposes? I work with epoxies; whilst I take precuations with gloves, of course, there’s no way I’m taking chances. Wash on the way in, wash on the way out.

  2. gusgus

    Working in both microbiology/molecular biology and chemistry labs has gotten me into this habit. Don’t want any antibiotic-resistant E. coli strains or stray chemicals ending up ‘down there’…

  3. Unfortunately, considering the amount of poison (ivy|oak|whatever) in my backyard, just mowing the lawn could get me this badge.

  4. Adriana

    As a clinical microbiologist, I’m so used to this that I forget… normal people don’t have to do this?! This website is great!

  5. kp

    Working in the field on the central CA coast where I’ve seen entire forest understories of 2m tall poison oak and poison oak vines with 20cm DBH. Unfortunately it took a couple of outbreaks before I learned my lesson.

  6. Oh yeah; Veterinary anatomic pathology. There have been days I needed a *shower* before going to the bathroom.

  7. suncrush

    Anyone smell acid?…

  8. Sheryl Mitchell

    Yay! Now I won’t feel quite so weird, lol! I work with reptiles and amphibians, and it would be NUTS for me to not wash my hands BEFORE using the bathroom, lol

  9. Poison ivy, poison oak, I gotcha.

  10. Thor Fury

    I earned this one years ago, when I began working in the laboratory for a company that collects, consolidates, and disposes of hazardous and non-hazardous chemical and industrial wastes…

  11. MC

    I was a chemist, and before that, worked with reptiles and amphibians (like another poster). Seconded!

  12. Catherine

    Herpetology for the antibacterial (with moisturizers) win!

  13. Briny Deep

    I teach outdoor science at a nature center. I handle reptiles and children with poison oak. I don’t take chances.

  14. ornot

    Non-science people don’t? Gross!

  15. JRQ

    As a microbiologist, I always wash before (and of course after) using the restroom.

  16. Em

    I make blood shakes for a living: I am a molecular hematologist dealing wih lots of weird, contaigious stuff so this badge suits me perfectly :)

  17. Cory

    Oh heck yes… I wouldn’t touch my naughty bits after dealing with ethidium bromide or radioactive isotope without a thorough washing… and I’d get a lot of comments in the washroom to that effect.

  18. Mark Fitzsimmons

    monomethylhydrazine (risk of skin contact)
    lead, handled with gloves but didn’t want to come in contact with it
    rubber, charred from combustion with liquid oxygen
    coal dust so pervasive I needed to take a shower
    rusty pipes
    plain old dirt in an old facility


    herpes virologist. ’nuff said.

  20. gusgus

    So many months of working in a molecular biology lab, carrying E. coli with me everywhere. Really made me paranoid about touching anything after leaving the lab.

  21. Pingback: Science Scouts | Updates from the Paleontology Lab

  22. Thomas

    ICU nurse,

    Vinyl gloves have failure rates of 50% or more depending on exposure type. You bet I wash my hands before I touch anything remotely important.

  23. Quid

    Marine mammal necropsies and currently getting a skeleton cleaned and puzzled back together. …yeah.

  24. Jon

    Working with formalin preserved fishes, I’m certainly not about to preserve the pecker.

  25. Pingback: The “what I do for science dictates my having to wash my hands before I use the toilet” badge - Science Scout Badges

  26. dr handle

    Biochemistry at work, herpetology for fun at home – I can claim Johnson & Johnson (manufacturer of chlorhexidine wash and alcohol sanitizer) as a dependent for tax purposes…

  27. Shelly L.L.

    I’m a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in a South Chicago hospital………you wouldn’t believe the nastiness I examine on a nightly basis. Even with two pairs of gloves I STILL wash my hands before using the lavatory!!! And after.

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