Hand dryers blow more potentially-pathogenic bathroom air around, and onto our hands, a new, independently-funded study shows.

Look, no one expects the air in the restroom to be the purest air you’ll breathe all day. We’ve taken on the paper towels vs. air dryer debate before, but a new study looks like it’s going to settle this debate once and for all.

Business Insider told us what we already know: all bathrooms are full of gross stuff, the air dryers just stir it all up even more.

“The more air ya move? The more bacteria stick,” Lead study author Peter Setlow told Business Insider. “And there are a lot of bacteria in bathrooms.”

In fact, other scientists have discovered that “toilet plumes” from inside the bowl of a toilet can spray aerosolized feces as high as 15 feet into the air. And blowing more of that pooey air with a dryer around could cause some serious harm, especially for vulnerable populations like the old and the sick.

Here are a few more nuggets from the study, followed by the money quote.

  • The air in a typical public restroom can be full of drug-resistant bacteria, and open-flush toilets help it fly up into the air.
  • Hand dryers can blow more potentially-pathogenic bathroom air around, and onto our hands, a new, independently-funded study shows.
  • One Connecticut health center is trading its hand dryers for paper towels, worried patients with compromised immune systems may be more at risk of catching something dangerous if they blow-dry their hands instead of wiping them dry.

A new, independently-funded study of 36 men’s and women’s bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine found that bathroom hand dryers blow tons of bacterial spores around. Researchers holding up test plates to hand dryer air found as many as 60 different bacterial colonies could be blown onto them during a 30-second air dry. Turns out, even though the air coming out of hand dryers is almost perfectly clean, it ends up pushing more nasty bathroom air around than a paper towel.

SOURCE: Hand dryers or paper towels: which is cleaner? – Business Insider

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Here at Office Essentials, we install towel dispensers for customers pretty much every day. There are a lot of different kinds, and a lot of things to consider to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. We can help with that. Send us an email if you’d like to continue the conversation.

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Greg Bussmann
About Greg Bussmann 318 Articles
Greg Bussmann is a Marketing Specialist at Office Essentials. He is a lifelong, proud St. Louisan, a technology enthusiast, and father to four teenage daughters. He spends his spare time providing rides, chaperoning dates and trying to keep track of his credit cards. He also enjoys watching the St. Louis Cardinals when it's his turn to use the remote. Email Greg anytime.