Alarming study slams bathroom hand dryers
A new study published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology has found that hand dryers found in public bathrooms are not hygenic and be just be spreading bacteria around the bathrooms.
Examining 36 men's and women's bathrooms, test plates were held up to hand dryer air for 30 seconds each. The tests revealed 60 different colonies of bacteria.
“Plates exposed to hand dryer air for 30 s averaged 18 to 60 colonies/plate; but interior hand dryer nozzle surfaces had minimal bacterial levels, plates exposed to bathroom air for 2 min with hand dryers off averaged ≤1 colony, and plates exposed to bathroom air moved by a small fan for 20 min had averages of 15 and 12 colonies/plate in two buildings tested,” reads the abstract from the paper. “Retrofitting hand dryers with HEPA filters reduced bacterial deposition by hand dryers ∼4-fold, and potential human pathogens were recovered from plates exposed to hand dryer air whether or not a HEPA filter was present and from bathroom air moved by a small fan.”
Will this study make you think twice about using public bathrooms?