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Antibacterial personal care products can play an essential role in our daily lives by safely and effectively removing germs and helping us to stay healthy. Consumer surveys are a helpful tool for evaluating how people across the country want and use antibacterial products in their daily lives.



Click on the surveys below for additional highlights and results:

2011 Antibacterial Soap Survey

A new poll finds that the vast majority of Americans uses antibacterial soap and finds it to be a useful tool to prevent the spread of germs. And two-thirds of Americans would be “angry” at any government attempts to ban the products.

The poll, released by the American Cleaning Institute and the Personal Care Products Council, reports that 83% of consumers should have the choice as to whether or not to purchase these products.

“This poll demonstrates that American consumers want access to soaps that are proven to eliminate germs and help fight infections,” said Brian Sansoni, spokesman for the American Cleaning Institute. “Consumers understand that these products have been used safely and effectively for decades.”

The poll, completed by the Fabrizio, Ward and Associates, sampled 1,000 adult Americans (age 18+) that were interviewed by telephone from December 5-12, 2010.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly three-quarters of American consumers (74%) use antibacterial soap (56% use it regularly), finding it a very useful tool to prevent the spread of germs at home, in health care settings, schools, restaurants, child care centers, and public restrooms
  • 75% of moms with children in the household would be “angry” if the government took antibacterial soap off the market
  • Overall, two-thirds of consumers would be upset if the government took antibacterial soap off the market
  • 84% of adults do not have any health or environmental concerns about antibacterial soap
  • By an eight-to-one margin, consumers would rather have the choice to buy antibacterial soap over removing it from the market based on alleged health and environment concerns
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Read the Full Study

2010 Handwashing Behavior Survey

Harris Interactive observed the behavior of 6,028 adults who appeared to be age 18 and older in public restrooms located at major public attractions in the U.S. and recorded whether or not they washed their hands after using the facilities. Researchers returned to six locations in four cities where two previous studies were conducted: Atlanta (Turner Field), Chicago (Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium), New York City (Grand Central Station, Penn Station), and San Francisco (Ferry Terminal Farmers Market).

"The message is that people are getting the message," said Nancy Bock, ACI Vice President of Consumer Education. "Between mom’s common sense advice and the recent pandemic scare, people now seem to realize the importance of when and how you wash your hands."

Key Findings:

  • 85% of adults washed their hands in public restrooms, compared with 77% in 2007
  • Overall, the rate of women washing their hands in public restrooms improved from 88% in 2007 to 93% in 2010
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Read the Harris Interactive Results

2010 Survey On Consumer Confidence In Cleaning Product Safety

The survey questions were asked of 1,008 American adults (500 men and 508 women). The independent consumer research study was completed February 25-28, 2010 on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) by Echo Research. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.  Results showed that Consumer confidence in the cleaning products they use every day remains strong.

Key Findings:

  • 88% of Americans say cleaning products they buy are safe when used as directed
  • A complete summary of the survey statistics is available here.
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2009 Clean Hands Report

The Report Card is based on a series of hygiene-related questions asked of 888 Americans during a telephone survey conducted in August 2009 by Echo Research.  Results showed that Americans appear to be embracing hand hygiene more than in past years. However, not all of us are cleaning our hands as often as we should – especially with the threat of the H1N1 flu virus (a.k.a. “Swine Flu”).

"The H1N1 pandemic is real. Cold and flu season is on its way. With common sense hygiene practices, good health is literally in our hands," said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. "Now is not the time to let our guard down when it comes to cleaning our hands," added Bock.

Key Findings:

  • 50% say they wash their hands more than 10 times per day (up from 36%)
  • 70% wash up at least 7 times per day (up from 62%)
  • Across the board, more Americans claim to always wash their hands before eating lunch, after coughing or sneezing and after using the bathroom
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2008 Cleaning Wipes Usage Survey

The SDA National Cleaning Survey was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by Echo Research (ER). ER questioned 1,008 American adults (504 men and 504 women) via telephone in May 8-11, 2008 on whether they had ever used a wipe product. Subsequent questions were asked among 693 American adults who did indicate wipes usage. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

“Cleaning wipes have become part of the American fabric, so to speak,” says Brian Sansoni, SDA Vice President of Communication. “Not only do they help keep us healthy, they do so conveniently and effectively.”

Key Findings:

  • Wipe usage is on the rise countrywide – 71% say they use wipes
  • 77% of Americans who use wipes keep a container in at least two household locations; 35% use wipes once per day or more
  • Effectiveness, value and durability are the most desired product qualities
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2008 Survey On Cleaning Product Safety

More than eight out of ten Americans recognize that the cleaning products they buy are safe when used as directed, according to a survey for The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA). Among 1,013 adults surveyed for SDA by International Communications Research (ICR), a strong majority believe the cleaning products they use are “very safe” (27%) or “safe” (58%) when used as directed.

“The proper and safe use of cleaning products is as important as their effectiveness,” said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. “We strongly encourage consumers to read the cleaning product label, use it properly and safely, and to store it securely.”

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2006 Survey On Cleaning Product Safety

Nearly nine out of ten Americans believe the cleaning products they buy are safe when used as directed, according to a survey released by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA). Among 946 adults (451 male, 495 female) questioned by International Communications Research for SDA, an overwhelming majority found cleaning products to be "very safe" (40%) or "somewhat safe" (48%) when properly used. Eight percent said these products are "somewhat unsafe." Less than one percent said cleaning products are "not safe at all" when used as directed.

Proper and safe storage, use and supervision of all household products can substantially reduce accidents in the home, said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education, and Chair of the National Poison Prevention Week Council. The 45th observance of National Poison Prevention Week takes place March 19-25, 2006. "Take away the opportunity and you’ve automatically made your home safer by reducing the chance for an accidental poisoning when small children are around," said Bock.

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2005 Cleaning Wipes Survey

The independent consumer research study was completed in December 2004, on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), by International Communications Research (ICR). The initial survey question was asked of 1,021 American adults (509 men and 512 women). The subsequent data is based on responses given by 657 individuals who indicated they had used a wipe product. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent, unless otherwise noted.

“An equal amount (26%) like wipes’ portability and how easily you can dispose of dirt or germs,” said Brian Sansoni, Vice President of Communications for American Cleaning Institute. “People with on-the-go lifestyles benefit from the ‘take anywhere’ characteristics of wipes. And they love the built-in elbow grease that gets the job done.”

Key Findings:

  • SDA survey shows 2/3 of Americans have used a wipe product
  • Among wipe users, disinfecting, cleaning surfaces, personal hygiene are favorite uses
  • Favorite wipe characteristics: can be carried anywhere, easy to get rid of dirt/germs

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