Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are hand dryers in public bathrooms unsanitary as hell?

My aunt forwarded me this email:

"Everyone in the cleaning industry has always been told that hand dryers in restrooms are not sanitary, they spread germs and bacteria around. I always thought that this just came from the paper companies because they are losing sales to the hand dryers.
A couple of years ago, I was working with a rep...
He told me to take a look under the hand dryer next time I was in a restroom. There is a filter underneath the hand dryer that is supposed to be cleaned on a weekly basis. I looked at one and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. It had layers and layers of caked on gunk (disgusting)...
Now this is where the story gets really interesting. The schools and universities that have had the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak this year are being told by the health department that they have to take out all of their hand dryers and replace them with towel dispensers because the hand dryers are spreading disease.

And some cursory Wikipedia research agrees with this:

"In 2008, a study was conducted by the University of Westminster, London, to compare the levels of hygiene offered by paper towels, warm air hand dryers and the more modern jet-air hand dryers.
The key findings were:

* after washing and drying hands with the warm air dryer, the total number of bacteria was found to increase on average on the finger pads by 194% and on the palms by 254%

* drying with the jet air dryer resulted in an increase on average of the total number of bacteria on the finger pads by 42% and on the palms by 15%

* after washing and drying hands with a paper towel, the total number of bacteria was reduced on average on the finger pads by up to 76% and on the palms by up to 77%."

5 comments:

shesthesheriff said...

Time to bring back kerchiefs.

Zeyev said...

What about drying your hands on your jeans like most real men do? Did they study that? Inquiring minds want to know!

shesthesheriff said...

Thanks Z for validating what is always my primal urge when exiting public restrooms.

To take it further, washing your hands after you pee always seemed strange to me. Its like, so what? You took a leak, most likely touched your junk while you were at it, assuming you don't have 5 STD's hanging out down there, whats the problem with bringing the magic out into the public???

Zeyev said...

Sorry, but I'm one of those guys who washes his hands often. Not to the point of being obsessive/compulsive like a friend of mine in Sacramento, but frequent nonetheless. It may be a Jewish thing: the Jews of Ethiopia were allegedly called "the people who smell of water" by their non-Jewish neighbors.

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