Amasht Hygiene E-news | October 2012
Electric Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels
  Using paper towels to dry your hands is far more hygienic than using electric hand dryers which actually increase the amount of bacteria on hands and can spread cross contamination in public washrooms, according to a scientific study. Scientists at the University of Westminster, London, measured the number of bacteria on subjects’ hands before washing and after drying them using three different methods – paper towels, a traditional warm air dyer and a new high – speed jet air dryer.
  Study indicated that paper towel drying reduced the average number of bacteria on the finger pads up to 76 percent and on palms by 77 percent. By comparison, electric hand dryers actually caused bacteria counts to increase. The study showed:  
Traditional warm air dryers increased the average number of bacteria by 194 percent on the finger pads and by 254 percent on the palms.  
Jet air dryers increased the average number of bacteria on the finger pads by 42 percent and on palms by 15 percent.
The jet air dryer, which blows air out of the unit at claimed speeds of 400 mph, was capable of blowing micro-organisms from the hands and the unit and potentially contaminating other washroom users and the washroom environment up to 2 meters away.
Use of a traditional warm air hand dryer spread micro-organisms up to 0.25 meters from the dryer.
Paper towels showed no significant spread of micro-organisms.
  The use of warm air dryers and jet air dryers should be carefully considered in locations where hygiene is of paramount importance, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, nurseries, care homes, kitchens and other food preparation areas. Paper hand towel use is highly beneficial for improved hygiene in any other facilities open to the public, such as factories, offices, bars and restaurants.  
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