Hand dry­ers may blow bac­te­ria your way

The Irish Times - Business - - TECHNOLOGY - aem.asm.org/content/84/8/e00044-18.ab­stract

Re­search has shown that putting the toi­let lid down be­fore flush­ing will re­duce air­borne bac­te­ria, but in pub­lic bath­rooms, you can­not guar­an­tee that this is always be­ing done, so it is de­sir­able to avoid spread­ing it fur­ther. Un­for­tu­nately, a new study from the jour­nal of

Ap­plied and En­vi­ron­men­tal Microbiology sug­gests that the hot-air hand dryer does just this. “Re­sults in­di­cate that many kinds of bac­te­ria, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial pathogens and spores, can be de­posited on hands ex­posed to bath­room hand dry­ers and that spores could be dis­persed through­out build­ings and de­posited on hands by hand dry­ers,” say the study’s au­thors. Gross.

They say that more re­search is needed to find out whether the hand dry­ers are sim­ply do­ing a good job of blow­ing this bac­te­ria to­wards your hands or if the noz­zle it­self might be har­bour­ing bac­te­ria.

Ei­ther way, they note that “paper towel dis­pensers have re­cently been added to all 36 bath­rooms in ba­sic science re­search ar­eas in the UConn School of Medicine sur­veyed in the current study.”

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