Microbial contamination was investigated for communal hand towels used by healthcare workers in hospital wards. All 8 towels studied were contaminated with a microbial level of 104-109 viable counts/towel. The main organisms identified were glucose nonfermentative gram-negative bacilli, including Acinetobacter spp. and Pseudomonas spp. In addition, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, 3.4×102-3.7×105 viable counts/towel, was detected in 4 (50%) out of the 8 towels; methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus was also detected in 1 of these towels (12.5%). The results suggested that the use of communal hand towels should be avoided from the viewpoint of preventing nosocomial infections.