Hand Dryers – Disadvantages of Using a Hand Dryer in Public Bathrooms

Hand Dryers

The latest study on the use of hand dryers has drawn a lot of attention in the scientific and medical communities. The study was published by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna Austria. The study showed that when a petri dish filled with bacteria from a hand dryer was placed directly onto a petrie dish without being cleaned beforehand, the bacteria proliferated greatly. (Hand drying was not mentioned in the press release or study but many people have reported great success in using a hand dryer in the home. Just be sure to read the study first and follow all the recommended precautions.) Below I have included my research notes from the review of this study and the information I included in the Petri Dish Test referenced at the end of this article.

First, let’s discuss what exactly is meant by “clean” when referring to hand dryers. It means that your hands are free of any visible bacteria, dust particles, or dried blood. Wikipedia defines “clean” as: “A clean environment. In the medical context, ‘clean’ is used to mean free of disease-causing agents.” The EPA similarly states: “There are some standards for personal hand drying devices to protect users and prevent the transfer of diseases.”

The concern about hand dryers is primarily because of the danger of causing health problems to users every time there is a spill. Researchers found that the redway and the inner workings of the hand dryer can transfer red dye to food in the same manner that a paint sprayer would. Also the jet dryer’s exhaust caused some of the particles to be released into the air which could potentially cause reactions in sensitive individuals.

In many public restrooms, hand dryers are allowed in the restrooms for the sole purpose of drying towels. These regulations are in place to ensure that the towels are not shared with other people. Unfortunately, the regulations do not define “dirty” or “nasty,” and thus anyone can use the restroom to hang out their dirty towel and then return to the public restroom to dry their towel. This is a problem for the public restroom staff who are required to regularly clean up bathrooms. These regulations are also in place because many public restrooms will have an electronic reader which allows individuals to scan their own towel to determine if it needs to be discarded or if it can be laundered.

In our next article we will explore why the best solution is to simply wash your hands in the morning and then use a hand dryer only when you need to dry them. In this article we will look at why using a hand dryer should be the preferred method instead of using two paper towels. As we finish this article, we will also review the best two paper towels for drying your hands: cotton towels and paper napkins. By the time you finish reading this article you will know that towel is best to use to dry your hands.

If you want to be sure to protect public restroom facilities from having to use two towels each day, you need to make sure that hand dryers are not allowed in the restrooms. To test for this you can take a few samples of your favorite towels, one with soap in it, and one without soap, and put them in a bowl next to the toilet. Leave them there for a full week, and then take a sample of each to your local Starbucks. You will see an amazing difference in the amount of soap left in the towels.

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