Using a hand dryer could leave your hands grubbier than you think, experts have warned
Using a hand dryer could leave your hands grubbier than you think, experts have warned

Why you should never use hand dryers

WASHING your hands after nipping to the loo is one of the most basic hygiene measures.

But, did you know using a hand dryer afterwards could undo all that hard work - propelling poo particles throughout an entire building?

One of the bugs commonly found in a number two is E coli, which can trigger nasty bouts of food poisoning - think diarrhoea and vomiting.

So as you pop your sparkling clean hands under the dryer, all that's happening is the hot air is firing minuscule particles of poo on to your palms.

And, all around the bathroom and office block, according to scientists from the University of Connecticut.

So it seems opting for a paper towel might be the more hygienic way to dry your hands.
So it seems opting for a paper towel might be the more hygienic way to dry your hands.

They made their grim discovery in their own uni toilets - which have since been fitted with paper towel dispensers only.

After turning dryers on in three separate bathrooms, the scientists placed a special plate in the firing line for around 30 seconds.

Tests then showed between 18 to 60 colonies of bacteria on the plates.

The authors warned: "These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers.

"And ... spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers."

To compare the results from the hand dryers, the team also tested special plates that were exposed to bathroom air, moved by a fan for 20 minutes.

They showed an average of 15 to 20 colonies of nasty germs.

Meanwhile, those just exposed to air for two minutes had less than one colony.

Fitting the hand dryers with HEPA filters reduced the number of bugs propelled out of the dryers fourfold, the scientists noted.

Keep clear of the hand dryers when you head to the bathroom.
Keep clear of the hand dryers when you head to the bathroom.

But the authors did add: "Potential human pathogens were recovered from plates exposed to hand dryer air whether or not a filter was present.

"And from bathroom air moved by a small fan."

It comes after another study last year found antibacterial handwash is no better than soap, and cold water kills as many germs as hot.

So, what the new study, published in the journal Applied And Environmental Microbiology, seems to be saying is it's almost impossible to avoid nasty germs from poo when you enter the bathroom.

But, by using a hot-air dryer, you are drastically increasing the chance of leaving with your hands teeming with grim bugs.

And to top it off, you're allowing those bugs to escape the confines of the bathroom and infiltrate your office too.

 

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.



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