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. 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. 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. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

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

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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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