Nov 9, 2009
For most of us, we are slightly disappointed to see air hand dryers in public restrooms after washing our hands. Environmental friendly factors set aside, those air dryers are just not as effective as old fashioned paper towels at getting our hands dry. According to a study by Effect Measure, an independent group of senior public health practitioners, you may have one more reason to be disappointed to see those dryers – every time you use an air dryer, the amount of bacteria on your hands increases by 254% and on the finger pads by 194%.
Additionally, most of the older hand dryers in use (and even some of the newer ones) have an internal screen that should be changed every 1-2 weeks. Unfortunately, most are lucky if they are changed every 1-2 years. This sad reality is not only is a waste of energy, but also keeps more bacteria, germs, and viruses trapped in the dust on the screens, which then is blown directly onto our hands when we dry them.
With the flu epidemic continually gaining momentum, the safety of hand dryers became a major concern at many universities, schools, and other densely populated facilities. At the schools where outbreaks occurred, they became a big enough concern that health department officials ordered them removed and replaced with paper towel dispensers.