Restroom Air Hand Dryers Spread Contamination More Than Paper Towels – Can Also Spread Germs Onto Clothing

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Experiment reveals air clothes dryers spread out germs from inadequately cleaned hands to clothes and surface areas beyond the washroom.

High speed air clothes dryers not just leave more contamination on inadequately cleaned hands compared to paper towels, however throughout hand drying, they can likewise spread out bacteria onto clothes, eventually moving more germs to other surface areas, according to a research study released today (March 17, 2021) in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Past research study has actually revealed suggested handwashing practices for health care employees are frequently not followed with typical adherence of 40%. To much better comprehend the effect of hand drying in hand health, scientists performed an experiment to find out the function of various hand drying approaches in spreading out bacteria from inadequately cleaned hands beyond the washroom.

For the research study, volunteers sterilized their hands with 70% alcohol disinfectant, dipped them in a nonharmful viral service, shook them off, and after that dried them either utilizing an air clothes dryer or paper towels. During experiment, volunteers used an apron to evaluate contamination of clothes. Volunteers then took a fixed course through the health center touching typically utilized surface areas, such as elevator buttons, along the method. Samples were gathered from surface areas that volunteers touched and likewise from the aprons.

“Based on the user and surface contamination observed following hand drying using high speed air dryers, we question the choice of air dryers in healthcare settings,” stated Ines Moura, PhD, research study fellow, University of Leeds and an author on the research study. “Microbes remaining after hand drying can transfer to surfaces via contaminated hands and clothing.”

On average, the levels of contamination to surface areas volunteers touched with their hands were 10 times greater after hands were dried with an air clothes dryer than with paper towels. Researchers likewise saw higher microbial transfer to the apron when volunteers utilized the air clothes dryer. The transfer of microorganisms to volunteers’ clothes after utilizing the air clothes dryer likewise added to the spread of bacteria.

“The study was performed in a healthcare setting and has important lessons for health institutions that still have high speed air dryers in restrooms, but the results are also relevant for public restrooms with high foot traffic,” Moura stated.

Reference: “From the hospital toilet to the ward: a pilot study on microbe dispersal to multiple hospital surfaces following hand drying using a jet air dryer versus paper towels” by Ines Moura, Duncan Ewin, Mark Wilcox., 17 March 2021, Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
DOI: 10.1017/ice.2021.43



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