A research study seems to show that jet air hand dryers, which are designed to be more efficient than warm air hand dryers and towels, are very germy.
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What the study found
The University of Westminster researchers conducted an experiment in which they dipped their hands into water that had a harmless virus and dried them by different methods.
Researchers dried their hands with the Dyson Airblade, which is a jet air hand dryer, a standard warm air hand dryer or a paper towel.
The Telegraph reported that the research’s findings show that the Dyson dryer spreads viruses nearly 10 feet across the bathroom with its blasts of air.
The spread of viruses in the standard hand dryer and hand towels was significantly less, at 75 centimeters and 25 centimeters, respectively.
This is not the first time a study has found that jet-air dryers spread more airborne germs than other methods of drying hands.
Researchers from the University of Leeds found in 2014 that jet air dryers had germ counts that were 27 times higher than paper towels.
Dyson, for its part, has said that the study was ‘scaremongering.’ The Guardian reported that a Dyson spokeswoman said the research was ‘conducted under artificial conditions.’
Dyson uploaded a video to YouTube in February that claimed paper towels contained bacteria. ‘Once in the washroom, bacteria in the air and contamination from previous users can be picked up by paper towels. Up to 88% of unused paper towels contain bacteria,’ the company claims.