Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Hand dryers in the loo spraying bacteria on your hands

Hand dryers in the loo spraying bacteria on your hands

In fact, hand dryers are spreading something disgusting right onto you: fecal particles.

"These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers", the authors said.

Into a hand dryer and onto your clean hands, perhaps.

Hand dryers in the loo spraying bacteria on your hands
Hand dryers in the loo spraying bacteria on your hands

The plates were then tested and found to contain 18 to 60 colonies of bacteria each, although harmless laboratory bacteria were used for the test.

Now imagine a public restroom with many toilets releasing human waste bacteria into the air. The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Bacterial feces can become "aerosolized" from the flushing of toilets, one of the researchers told Newsweek.

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Scientists studied three different bathrooms in the University of CT by placing special plates beneath the dryers for 30 seconds. For this reason, many opt to use hand dryers to dry their hands, especially if the dryers are touchless.

The hand dryers were apparently sucking up the bacteria around the bathroom and blasting them to the hands of people. However, a new study is questioning whether the hot air method is sanitary.

What's unclear, they admit, is just why the air-blasted plates showed so many more spores.

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The outcome of hand dryers spreading poo is unlikely to have a serious effect on your health, however, as many day-to-day items, such as mugs and desks, are also covered in germs.

The study shows if hand dryers are retrofitted with HEPA filters, it can reduce the spread of the bacteria four-fold.

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