Warm air hand dryers : A big health risk

Paper towels are the way to go…

In November 2008, the University of Westminster – London, stated at the EUROPEAN TISSUE SYMPOSIUM, the final result of an interesting investigation. The investigation consisted on comparing the number of bacteria found before and after washing and drying our hands.

The result clearly showed the harmful effect caused by using Warm Air Dryers instead of Paper Towels. Hand Hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection. Washing and rinsing do not remove all dirt and bacteria from the skin. It is drying that completes the job.

Warm Air Dryer +254 % - Increase the amount of bacteria.
Paper Towel         -77 

Drying Efficiency
 The results show that hot air dryers are considerably less efficient and slower, with an average of 47 seconds to achieve 90% of drying; this is almost 5 times more than the paper towel, which in 10 seconds gets the same percentage.

Therefore, it has been proven that drying with a paper towel is the optimal method, since it removes dirt, grease and bacteria from the skin, in areas where the air dryer fails to act.

In summary, the results of the study indicate that the paper towel should be used in places where hygiene is crucial and critical, such as hospitals, clinics, industries, schools, kitchens, public casinos and all sites where there is manipulation of food and many people living together.

Hand hygiene: The air drier increases the amount of bacteria on hands; while paper towels, reduce this amount.

Drying performance: The paper towel has a higher efficiency than the electric dryer in normal use. Speed: The air dryer takes 5 minutes than the paper towel to dry hands.

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