- Publish Date
- Thursday, 13 September 2018, 10:30AM
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here goes ...
According to a study on virus dispersal, these hand dryers might not be as hygienic as you think. And now people who are backing hand towels are cheering.
The study was published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Microbiology looked at the virus dispersal of three different hand-washing methods: paper towels, conventional "warm air" dryers, and "jet dryers" such as the Dyson Airblade.
Their findings showed that the Airblade-type models spread 1,300 times more viral plaque-forming units than paper towels. Compared to "warm air" dryers, Airblades spread 60 times the amount. Among the grossest of their results, they found that jet dryers can fling viruses up to 3 meters (10 feet), while standard warm air dryers only managed 75 centimetres (2.5 feet) and hand towels just 25 centimetres (10 inches).
The British technology company has questioned some of the methods used in the study.
Participants in the study were asked to wear gloves and wash their hands in a suspension of viruses. They were then asked to dry their hands using one of the three hand-drying methods. Dyson pointed out that this is an unrealistically high concentration of viruses, as a person would hopefully have washed their hands with soap and water before using the dryer.
Just remember that it's worth taking the findings with a grain of salt - providing you know how to actually wash your hands with soap, it's unlikely you'll get ill from a cloud of viruses blasted from across the bathroom.