Air Hand Dryers Versus Paper Towels
Germs and bacteria can be found in places you least expect.
Germs spread so easily, whether its from people coughing and sneezing on a train or visiting a dirty public washroom. Thats why its never been more important to know where they are and how to protect yourself.
According to a recent study by University of Westminster in London, warm air hand dryers cause an average 254 percent increase in the number of bacteria on the palms of peoples hands as well as contaminating the surrounding area.
The study also showed that on average, paper towels reduce bacteria on the hands by 77 percent. The University conducted a study of three different hand drying methods including paper towels, regular warm air dryers and the new generation jet air dryers. Each drying option produced radically different results with warm air hand dryers causing an alarming increase in the amount of bacteria found on palms and finger pads. Warm air hand dryers resulted in the largest bacteria increase.
The study also tested the new type of Jet air hand dryer. Jet air hand dryers increased bacteria by an average 42 percent on the finger pads and 15 percent on the palms. The air dryers do not only cause an increase of bacteria, they also contaminated the washroom environment and other washroom users. This is caused by the high air speeds. Tests showed that bacteria can spread as far as 2 meters from the Jet air dryer while regular warm air hand dryers spread bacteria 0.25 meters.
Paper towels were proven to be the safest method with a significant decrease in bacteria on both palms and finger pads.
The average decrease was 76 percent on the finger pads and 77 percent on the palms. Also, paper is not likely to contaminate the washroom environment or other users.
Many businesses are now realizing the risks and going back to paper towels to improve hygiene and customer satisfaction.