Study: High-powered hand dryers could be less hygienic than paper towels: 4 thoughts

A study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, compared the virus-spreading capabilities of three different hand-drying technologies, and found that jet-air dryers spread 60 times more germs into the air than their counterparts, Dark Daily reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. To research the issue, participants put MS2 onto their gloved hands. They then dried their hands using the three various methods. Researchers collected samples from around the three devices and put them in petri dishes.

The researchers took samples from different heights and distances, as well as in the air, to attempt to determine which of the hand-drying methods produced the least splatter of contaminates.

2. The scientists discovered that jet-air hand dryers distribute viruses up to nine feet from the device. Warm-air dryers only spew viruses three feet from the device and paper towel users only disperse the virus 10 inches.

3. The Dyson Airblade was the jet-air hand dryer tested in the study. Dyson criticized a similar study in 2014, nothing that scientists had an unusually high amount of virus on their hands. The company also said while paper towels don't dispense viruses into the air, they can be polluted with germs from other people.

Dyson also claims that 88 percent of unused paper towels tested in the U.S. contain bacteria which can transfer to your hands.

Dyson claims that such scientific studies are funded by the "paper towel industry to discredit the effectiveness of their products."

4. The participants did not wash their hands with soap and water, which is the way hand dryers are typically used.

More news related to infection control:
1. Harvard researchers have nearly recoded E. coli bacterium — 5 things to know about the virus-resistant genome
2. The Joint Commission reports 47 patient falls, 52 unintended retained foreign objects in 2016 — 10 statistics on sentinel events
3. It only takes one – How ASCs can limit serious adverse events & prioritizing patient safety

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