Friday, 27 April, 2018

Bathroom hand dryers are blowing feces particles on you

CC BY-SA 3.0 CC BY-SA 3.0
Melissa Porter | 13 April, 2018, 02:11

Electric hot hand dryers disperse this fecal matter on to wet hands and into the air. What's more, the inside of the dryer nozzles themselves had "minimal bacterial levels".

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.

A hand is illuminated.

The University of CT added paper towel dispensers to 36 of its bathrooms after completing the study, Newsweek reported. And while evidence shows dryers can cover hands in bacteria, they said, it's not certain whether they deposit bacterial spores.

"Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria including bacterial spores may travel between rooms", the authors wrote in their research paper. The study found that restrooms with hand dryers had up to 254 bacterial pathogens present.

In theory, adding high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters should stop bacteria particles from spraying over your newly cleaned hands. Although that's a lot, it certainly isn't ideal.

The hand dryers were apparently sucking up the bacteria around the bathroom and blasting them to the hands of people.

One of the basic hygiene measures is to dry the hands under a hand dryer after using the washroom.

Research has shown that putting the toilet lid down before flushing will reduce airborne bacteria but, in public bathrooms, you can not guarantee that this is always being done, so it is desirable to avoid spreading it further.

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.