Hand Dryers In Public Restrooms May Spread Bacteria To Your Hands

CC BY-SA 3.0

CC BY-SA 3.0

The plates were then tested and found to contain 18 to 60 colonies of bacteria each, although harmless laboratory bacteria were used for the test.

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to stop the spread of germs, right? The study by researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine appeared in the latest issue of the journal Applied And Environmental Microbiology.

The results of the study were concerning.

Researchers recommend placing HEPA filters on all hand dryers to help reduce the harmful bacteria, or just use paper towels, although that's not a favorable option for the environmentally conscious. For this reason, many opt to use hand dryers to dry their hands, especially if the dryers are touchless. The same droplets are sucked in by the hand dryers along with air. Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria including bacterial spores may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for spread of infectious bacteria including spores of potential pathogens if present. The numbers of bacteria were higher than those found in the air of bathrooms that didn't have hand dryers, Newsweek reported. He says most of, if not all, public health facilities in Tucson only use paper towels.

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The hand dryers were found to be sucking up the impure air inside the washrooms and spraying it back on the hands of the users.

So how can you avoid the bacteria?

That's the best way to do it, you're not blowing air around the facility and it's effective.

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