Hand dryers collect feces particles, spray them on you, study says

Restroom Hand Dryers Suck Up Feces Particles and Spray Them All Over Your Hands

Researchers in CT say using hand dryers can blow bacteria throughout bathroom surfaces and your hands.

They used plates to collect the bacteria that was expelled from the dryers when switched on, finding that sometimes up to 60 colonies of bacteria were discovered.

You know, they're the little boxes near the sink that you use to dry yours hands when you've washed them after going to the toilet.

Peter Setlow, the lead author of the study, revealed that he has stopped using hand dryers after the research was completed. The results were published this month in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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.

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

These bacteria came from bathroom air, and it included some that can cause disease.

Some hand dryers like those made by Dyson do use HEPA filters. Hand dryers, they added, could be one way such bacteria had seeped through the building. And while evidence shows dryers can cover hands in bacteria, they said, it's not certain whether they deposit bacterial spores. Convection created by a hand dryer's air streams, for example, might pull in unfiltered bathroom air.

Research has shown that putting the toilet lid down before flushing will reduce airborne bacteria but, in public bathrooms, you can not guarantee that this is always being done, so it is desirable to avoid spreading it further.

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