#DidYouKnow: Hand dryers spread more germs than paper towels

hand dryer
Stop using modern hand dryers. You could be splattering yourself with someone else’s germs.

In a recent study by the University of Leeds, researchers found modern hand dryers were much worse than paper towels when it came to spreading germs. Airborne germ counts were 27 times higher around jet air dryers in comparison with the air around paper towel dispensers.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, also revealed that both jet and warm air hand dryers spread bacteria into the air and onto users and those nearby, as far away as two metres.

Air bacterial counts close to jet air dryers were found to be 4.5 times higher than around warm air dryers and 27 times higher compared with the air when using paper towels. Next to the dryers, bacteria persisted in the air well beyond the 15 second hand-drying time, with approximately half (48%) of the Lactobacilli collected more than five minutes after drying ended. Lactobacilli were still detected in the air 15 minutes after hand drying.

Journal Reference:
1. E.L. Best, P. Parnell, M.H. Wilcox. Microbiological comparison of hand-drying methods: the potential for contamination of the environment, user, and bystander. Journal of Hospital Infection, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2014.08.002

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