Do hand dryers spread more germs than tissue papers?

May 2nd 2022, 3:26:32 pm

When you use a public restroom, you are expected to wash your hands.

hand dryers might be spreading more germs [Healio]

The obvious reason for this is that there are so many germs in the toilet and of course, because it is the basic hygienic thing to do. Imagine using those dirty toilet hands to touch food or touching your eyes, nose or mouth. The rule is; always wash your hands after using the toilet.

But then you cannot leave the place with your hands wet. And this is where hair dryers come into the picture.

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Air hand dryers are little machines that blow heat to your hands and help them get dried. They have been around for a while, but do you know they may be spreading germs as opposed to helping you stay free of them?

During the Covid Era, researchers from the University of Cambridge set out to determine if doctors should dry their hands with air dryers. They asked participants to dry their hands with one of tissue papers or air dryers; but before that, they simulated contaminated hands by putting some harmless viruses on their hands.

When the researchers compared those who used an air dryer with those who used a tissue paper, they found that the people who dried their hands using the air dryer had spread more of the virus.

"A new study from the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University shows that hot-air dryers may be acting like bacterial bombs, shooting loads of spores from bathroom air directly onto your hands," Healthline reports.

Healio writes; "Automatic hand dryers in men’s and women’s public restrooms can harbor and spread bacteria, including Staphylococcus and fecal matter, according to research presented during ASM Microbe."

There have been conflicting studies, however, which have found that hot air hand dryers are just as safe as paper towels and tissue paper. Notably, researchers at the University of Arizona concluded in 2020 that using one is just as safe and healthy as the other.


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Temi Iwalaiye

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