Bathroom Hand Dryers Blow Fecal Matter on Your Hands

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But in bathrooms where such plumes gush regularly, where does all that bacteria go? "The more bacteria stick", Lead study author Peter Setlow told Business Insider.

Still the study's authors, who found that the nozzle of the dryers had minimal bacterial levels, said that more evidence was needed to determine whether the dryers were bacteria harbors themselves or simply blew large amounts of contaminated air.

Hand dryers may leave your hands significantly more dirty than before, according to a new study.

The University of Connecticut School of Medicine where the study was conducted are trading in hand dryers for regular paper towels. Well, your office hand dryer might actually be spreading fecal bacteria onto your hands and throughout your building.

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The team found PS533 in every bathroom tested. The dryer can act as a reservoir for the bacteria inside the dryer before someone turns it on, blowing the potential pathogens on your recently-washed hands.

In theory, adding high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters should stop bacteria particles from spraying over your newly cleaned hands.

"Perhaps the filters weren't working properly, or the large air column below the hand dryers was sucking in bacteria from unfiltered air adjacent to the forced air column", Setlow, who is a professor at the University of CT, explained. Researchers recommend placing HEPA filters on all hand dryers to help reduce the harmful bacteria, or just use paper towels, although that's not a favorable option for the environmentally conscious.

Researchers analysed hand dryers from male and female bathrooms in three separate areas.

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