A new study suggests we should be very wary of air dryers in public restrooms, likening them to “virus hand grenades.”
We’ve talked about this before and this research backs up what we said then, that warm air hand dryers launch bacteria into the air:
After studying hand-drying techniques, researchers at The University of Westminster in London determined that high-powered jet air dryers can act like “virus hand grenades.” The study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology earlier this year, compared the virus-spreading capabilities of three different types of hand-drying techniques:
1. Warm air dryers;
2. Jet air dryers; and
3. Paper towels.
To perform the research, participants placed MS2, an “icosahedral, positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that infects the bacterium Escherichia coli and other members of the Enterobacteriaceae,” on their gloved hands. They then dried their hands using the various drying methods. Samples were collected around the three devices from different heights and distances on petri dishes and from the air to rate the capacity of these hand-drying devices to scatter contaminants into the surrounding environment.
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