Have you ever wondered, Hand Dryers or Paper Towels
WARNING, germaphobes should NOT read this…..If you’ve ever thought that using a hand dyer was more sanitary than Paper towels, continue reading. Hand Dryers ARE better for the environment than using paper towels but are they more hygienic? The answer is no. I was totally shocked to have learned this.
This year a study was done about the potential dangers of hand dryers at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. They found that there was 27 times the amount of bacteria in the air around hand dryers than the amount when paper towels were used. Worse are the super-fast, high-velocity hand dryers that have nearly five times the bacteria than the basic hot-air hand dryers.
You would think that just washed hands would not have bacteria but they’re not as clean as you think, they still have bacteria on them. Also keep in mind that not everyone washes their hands as well as you do.
When using a paper towel to dry your hands, you remove more bacteria onto the towel and then throw it out. But when you use an air dryer, the bacteria left on your hands now gets propelled onto you and anyone standing around you for up to 3 feet.
The Leeds researchers did a tightly controlled lab experiment, setting up air controlled rooms with different kinds of hand dryers and paper towel dispensers, like you would find in a restroom. They took samples right after drying their hands from around the dryers and other surfaces 3 feet away.
I myself am not concerned about this information as I’m a BIG believer that we need germs and bacteria in our systems and lives to prevent us from disease. But during the winter, when flu and colds are more rampant, you might want to take a few precautions, especially if you’re more susceptible to colds.
Of course, you’ll want to use paper towels, if available, instead of the air hand dryer and leave the restroom as soon as you’ve washed your hands. Don’t hang around talking and brushing your hair, as we women tend to do, just leave the restroom!
And if you want to be environmentally friendly, which I hope you do, be sure to use ONLY one paper towel, not several sheets. You can go one step further and use that same paper towel to open the door then toss it while you have your foot or elbow holding it, most trash cans are close enough. If they aren’t, make a suggestion to management, I’m sure they’ll want to keep their customers/employees healthy.
Now it’s a win-win for your health AND the environment. Did this information surprise you as much as it did me? Please comment and let me know what you think.I NEVER thought I’d be writing an article such as this. Those who know me understand this because I’m a big advocate of the environment and saving the planet. Yes, I buy reusable bamboo paper towels, non-toxic natural cleaners, only store leftovers in Tupperware and wash and reuse baggies (IF I get them). I have my cloth shopping bags and always say no to plastic shopping bags. I wash & keep all yogurt, ricotta & feta containers for leftovers when people come to dinner or give them to my friends when they/we have potlucks. That’s a little about me. I hope you comment and tell me a little about you as well.