Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Stand back: hand dryers may be blowing bacteria your way

VERIFY    
          VERIFY Are hand dryers loaded with harmful bacteria?        Should you be using a paper towel or a hand dryer VERIFY VERIFY Are hand dryers loaded with harmful bacteria? Should you be using a paper towel or a hand dryer
Marlene Weaver | 13 April, 2018, 02:13

The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The simple movement of lots of people in and out of the bathroom, shedding microbes from their skin, he said, adds to the messy picture.

Now imagine a public restroom with many toilets releasing human waste bacteria into the air. That's what a new study suggests in which researchers examined plates exposed to just 30 seconds of a hand dryer compared to those left in, you know, just plain feces-filled air (the kind towel-dried hands yet face).

A hand is illuminated.

The researchers, who were from the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine, studied 36 bathrooms across the campus. Unlike other types of B. subtilis often found in soil, this strain is only found in laboratory environments. Bacterial spores, Setlow explained, had probably traveled throughout the research building from a lab.

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According to a new study conducted at the University of CT, electric hand dryers actually spread fecal matter in public restrooms. This is then dried and sprays on the hands of the user finds that study. Although that's a lot, it certainly isn't ideal.

The outcome of hand dryers spreading poo is unlikely to have a serious effect on your health, however, as many day-to-day items, such as mugs and desks, are also covered in germs.

This sends faecal particles into the air, where they linger until you turn on the hand dryer. For this reason, many opt to use hand dryers to dry their hands, especially if the dryers are touchless.

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.

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