Study finds electric hand dryers spread germs than paper towel

Posted on April 18, 2016 12:27 am

A study conducted by University of Westminster and published in Applied Microbiology show that hand-dryers spread significantly more germs than their tech-free paper counterparts.Researchers dipped their hands water containing a virus and then dried them using either a Dyson Airblade, a standard hot air dryer or a paper towel.The study found the Dyson device which uses a 690kph blast of air to dry hands in less than 90 seconds propelled the virus up to three metres across the bathroom.By comparison, the standard hot air dryer spread germs 75cm, and the paper towel just 25cm.The viruses sprinkled by the jet dryer would float beyond the 15 minutes, and some 70 percent of those viral particles float at the height of a small child’s face.“The results of this study suggest that in locations where hygiene and cross-infection considerations are paramount, such as healthcare settings and the food industry, the choice of hand-drying method should be considered carefully,” the authors, Patrick Kimmitt and Keith Redway of the University of Westminster, concluded.Needless to say that drying skin post washing hands is essential to stave off bacteria, and which drying method is safe and efficient can’t be guaranteed. The Westminster researchers affirm that all methods of hand drying spatter germs and users should be aware of this fact.“The work we have done has gone through a rigorous process of peer review by three experts.

In addition, the fact remains that many individuals do not wash their hands thoroughly and or do not use any kind of soap or sanitizer and this means that if their hands are contaminated with a pathogen it may still be present after ‘washing’. We were testing this scenario in our study,” one of the study authors, Dr. Patrick Kimmitt, stated.Paper towels and hot air dryers are commonly used to dry washed hands. In public places, specifically, people prefer to use air hand dryers as it dries up their hands quickly and hygienically in just few seconds without requiring them to actually touch anything.In the study, the researchers asked participants to dip their gloved hands into a solution of a harmless virus called MS2. After giving their hands a quick shake, the participants tried one of the three drying methods. The researchers then collected samples from the air and from surfaces petri dishes placed before the experiment at different distances from where the drying procedure occurred. The jet air dryer was far and away the worst offender, spreading more viruses farther.Those who think technologically advanced air blowers in restrooms are more hygienic than a simple one-use sheet of paper, you better think again.Banish those hand dryers, as they spatter significantly more infectious agents than paper towels, warns a new study.If findings of the recent study are to be believed then jet dryers in restrooms, such as the Dyson Airblade hand dryers, spread more germs than paper towels or other regular dryers.

Contador Harrison