Hand Dryers Vs Paper Towels
There is a lot of research online in regards to the great Hand Dryers Vs Paper Towels debate. Here at Wessex we decided to look through some of the various articles to find out what the general
consensus is in this debate.
First up an article on from the independent…
Researchers tested the amount of bacteria left on the skin after hands were dried using both methods, and the results might surprise you.
Washing hands and using paper towels or continuous-loop cotton towels reduced the bacterial count by 45-60 per cent, while using a warm air dryer in fact increased the bacterial count by an average of 255 per cent.
“It turned out the bacteria were already inside the warm air dryers thanks to the moist environment,” Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki (yes, that’s a real doctor) wrote in his book Curious and Curiouser.
“Every single warm air dryer had high bacterial counts on the air inlet, while 97 per cent had them on the outlet nozzle surface, too.”
Air-based dryers in fact spread bacteria and other germs in tiny droplets, like a really disgusting aerosol.
Kruszelnicki notes that our bodies are resilient enough to keep most of these bacteria at bay, but suggests you also go for towels (preferably recyclable) over driers anyway as they dry your hands quicker and give the friction needed to shift bacteria that you don’t get from a pathetic gust of air.
Then we read this on website UK Business Insider…
A new, independently-funded study of 36 men’s and women’s bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine found that bathroom hand dryers blow tons of bacterial spores around. Researchers holding up test plates to hand dryer air found as many as 60 different bacterial colonies could be blown onto them during a 30-second air dry. Turns out, even though the air coming out of hand dryers is almost perfectly clean, it ends up pushing more nasty bathroom air around than a paper towel.
Lead study author Peter Setlow says his research find is not a shock.
“The more air ya move? The more bacteria stick,” he told Business Insider. “And there are a lot of bacteria in bathrooms.”
In fact, other scientists have discovered that “toilet plumes” from inside the bowl of a toilet can spray aerosolized feces as high as 15 feet into the air. And blowing more of that pooey air with a dryer around could cause some serious harm, especially for vulnerable populations like the old and the sick.
Setlow himself, a septuagenarian researcher, says he’s stopped using hand dryers altogether after completing his independently-funded study. And he’s not the only one. The University of Connecticut School of Medicine where the study was done has also started stocking paper towels in all its facilities.
Lastly we headed to YouTube. The TV show Mythbusters (made by the Discovery channel in the US) decided to run a test to settle the debate, and as you can see in the video below, the results were quite conclusive!!