Are Hand Blow Dryers in Public Restrooms Sanitary
In the quest for sanitation in public bathrooms, technology may have taken a giant leap backward. According to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology in March 2021, high-speed hot air blow dryers for hands aren’t that sanitary. They can transfer bacteria, viruses and fungi to a person’s hands and clothing, increasing the risk of spreading the contaminants to other people and surfaces.
The action of actually rubbing the hands while drying them is the key to an elevated level of sanitation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that when hygiene is of paramount importance, only the use of paper towels removes a sufficient level of contaminants. High levels of E. coli were found at the mouth of hot air hand dryers. The information provides an important lesson, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study conducted by the Hjelt Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology at the University of Helsinki, studied four methods of hand drying. Paper towel sheets were found to be more hygienic than jet air dryers, warm air dryers and cotton roll towels.
In the past, bathroom hand drying relied on a continuous roll of cotton cloth, also known as continuous towels, that was dispensed via a machine. Depending upon usage, the rolls could require frequent changing and represented a significant cost to business owners. The introduction of hot air blow dryers for hands were hailed as a technological breakthrough and a means for greater sanitation.
However, the blow dryer’s usefulness and widespread installation was actually based on a well-executed marketing campaign. Since little actual touch was involved, hot air blow dryers were marketed to the public as more sanitary. Installing air dryers was marketed as more cost-efficient to businesses and the devices were put into widespread usage. Later marketing ploys were designed to highlight that hand blow dryers were more environmentally friendly.
The results are in and multiple studies conducted by prestigious universities have shown that paper towels are far more sanitary, hygienic and effective at removing a wide variety of bacteria, viruses and fungi than other methods. The environmental footprint between hot air blow dryers and paper towels are roughly equivalent.
At Crown Products, we create high-quality, focused products that, in essence, improve the quality of life for everyone who uses your facilities and public spaces. Visitors benefit from a cleaner space and resources to keep it clean, staff can focus on important maintenance rather than cleaning up litter and waste, and you can enjoy a pristine and appreciated space!
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