Research completed by the University of Westminster found that air dryers increase the average level of bacteria on finger pads by 194% and 254% on palms. Tests also showed that bacteria can spread as far as 2 metres from a jet air dryer.
The latest study from the University of Leeds, UK, and published in the Journal of Hospital Infection in August 2014, also finds that jet air and warm air dyers contaminate the air around them, increasing the air bacterial count.
Hands were coated in lactobacilli to simulate poorly washed, contaminated hands, and dried. The investigation comprised 120 air-sampling tests (60 tests and 60 controls), divided into close and one metre proximity from the drying process. Separate tests used hands coated in paint to visualize droplet dispersal.
Air bacterial counts in close proximity to hand drying were 4.5-fold higher for the jet air dryer (70.7cfu) compared with the warm air dryer (15.7cfu) (P = 0.001), and 27-fold higher compared with use of paper towels (2.6cfu) (P < 0.001). Airborne counts were also significantly different during use of towel drying versus warm air dryer (P = 0.001). A similar pattern was seen for bacterial counts at one metre away. Visualization experiments demonstrated that the jet air dryer caused the most droplet dispersal.
Your best defence in a public toilet? Step away from the hand dryer, reach for a paper hand towel, exit quickly, and before you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, pull out your Squeakie, and thoroughly clean hands post- public toilet.
Our Squeakie Kindness Kit includes 2 x Squeakie 50ml bottles. One for you and one for a friend. Kindness can change the world.