Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Stand back: hand dryers may be blowing bacteria your way

Stand back: hand dryers may be blowing bacteria your way

The results were published this month in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The simple movement of lots of people in and out of the bathroom, shedding microbes from their skin, he said, adds to the messy picture.

Another might be because they don't want to use toilet roll to dry themselves because that's disgusting. Electric hot hand dryers disperse this fecal matter on to wet hands and into the air.

A hand is illuminated.

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For the study, a Connecticut-based team looked at 36 bathrooms at facility of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Newsweek notes, where one lab produces large amounts of spores of PS533, a specific but harmless strain of bacteria Bacillus subtilis. Although these particular spores, which can survive for years, are "meaningless" for human health, their vast distribution shows that bacteria had spread through the air of the entire building. For this reason, many opt to use hand dryers to dry their hands, especially if the dryers are touchless. Spore-forming colonies, identified as B. subtilis PS533 averaged ∼2.5-5% of bacteria deposited by hand dryers throughout basic research areas examined regardless of distance from the spore forming laboratory, and these were nearly certainly deposited as spores.

American scientists have concluded that hand dryers are the breeding grounds of harmful microorganisms. They also exposed some of these sterile plates to the bathroom air under fans for 20 minutes. New study finds that the measure of washing hands with soap to cleanse them may be undone by the hand dryer that is praying bacteria on the clean hands.

For now, Setlow is sticking to paper towels-as is the University of CT, which has added them to all 36 bathrooms surveyed in the study.

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