Hand Dryers In Public Restrooms May Spread Bacteria To Your Hands

Hand Dryers In Public Restrooms May Spread Bacteria To Your Hands

Some hand dryers like those made by Dyson do use HEPA filters. That's what a new study suggests in which researchers examined plates exposed to just 30 seconds of a hand dryer compared to those left in, you know, just plain feces-filled air (the kind towel-dried hands yet face). The study by researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine appeared in the latest issue of the journal Applied And Environmental Microbiology.

Explanation: Every time you flush a toilet, it releases an aerosol spray of tiny tainted water droplets. The same droplets are sucked in by the hand dryers along with air. Hand and food contamination with these bugs can give a case of food poisoning or diarrhoea and vomiting.

After each hand wash is recommended to use a towel.

The hand dryers were apparently sucking up the bacteria around the bathroom and blasting them to the hands of people. Another set of plates were exposed to the bathroom air for two minutes.

The results of the study, which came from scientists comparing normal bathroom air in 36 restrooms at the University of CT to the air coming from dryer nozzles, indicated that more bacterial colonies developed in samples exposed to the hand dryer air. Although these particular spores, which can survive for years, are "meaningless" for human health, their vast distribution shows that bacteria had spread through the air of the entire building. They add that the dryers should be ideally fitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to filter out the bugs.

For now, Setlow is sticking to paper towels-as is the University of CT, which has added them to all 36 bathrooms surveyed in the study.