Jet Air Dryer vs. Paper Towels—Which Is Safer?
According to a recent study, you are more likely to spread and transmit germs when you dry your hands with a jet air dryer than when you use paper towels.
This finding has never been more critical. Given our circumstances, a growing number of businesses started installing more jet air dryers instead of providing paper towels. Now, this is where things get tricky.
Based on Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology findings, air dryers might not be as efficient as we have thought. Namely, they have been found to disperse more bacteria on clothing items and surfaces compared to paper towels.
In a nutshell, experimenters imitated contaminated hands. What they did was treat hands with a benign virus. Participants were then asked to dry their hands. They either went for an air dryer or paper towels. Researchers then determined how much of the virus was spread on surfaces around the hospital. They established that those who used an air dryer for drying their hands spread more of the virus.
That said, the amount of the virus used in the study outreaches that encountered in ordinary settings. In other words, the study likely overestimates how much virus remains on the hands or spreads around. Furthermore, the study’s sample size is rather small.
Note that Robert Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Nova Southeastern University, claims that the most effective way to reduce the spread and transmission of microbes is by washing hands properly.
The verdict: It is highly recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of 30 seconds. Alternatively, you could use a quality hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Another tip is to grasp the restroom’s door knob with a paper towel to avoid any contamination.
Photo by Diana Polekhina from Unsplash