Public washrooms hand dryers blow bacteria all over your hands, study finds

You may be the kind of person who avoids public washrooms at all costs then you may feel validated as well as disturbed by the new study that has been carried by the researchers. It has been suspected that the hot-air hand dryers in public restrooms such up bacteria from the air and dump them on the newly washed hands.

In order to test this theory, researches exposed dishes to bathroom air under different conditions and took them back to the microbiology laboratory for suspected growth of bacteria. It was found that those dishes were covered with 19-60 colonies of bacteria on average. On further investigation, it was revealed that the inside of the dryer nozzles themselves had minimum bacterial levels.

According to a CNBC report, around 36 bathrooms were looked at for the study at the facility of the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine. A large amount of spores of PS533 were produced in the lab, a specific but harmless strain of bacteria that was found on the air-blasted plates. It was regardless of how far the specific bathroom was from the lab where such spores were actually produced. The result indicated that various forms of bacteria including the potential pathogens and spores. These were the spores that have the ability to disperse throughout the building and can be deposited on hands through hand dryers. The intense blowing by the hand dryers provides more exposure to the already contaminated air. But it is not certain that whether the hand dryers deposit the bacterial spores.

The researchers have suggested that it is preferable to use paper towels because the bacteria in the washrooms can be aerosolized when toilets are flushed.

So, the most hygienic way to dry your hands is by using paper towels and to make it a routine in the health care settings.