30 Seconds Of Hand Dryer Use Releases 18-60 Colonies Of Potentially Harmful Bacteria: Study

The Logical Indian Crew

April 16th, 2018 / 2:15 PM

Representational Image: wikihow

A recent study published in the American Society for Microbiology’s Applied and Environmental Biology journal found empirical evidence of hand dryers contaminating hands with bacteria. This was a small-scale study conducted by a team in 36 bathrooms of University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

The study found that just 30 seconds of hand dryer use resulted in at least 18-60 colonies of potentially  harmful bacteria. In comparison, not using the hand dryer resulted in fewer than 1 colony of bacteria even if exposed to the same bathroom air for 2 minutes. The air nozzles were found to be minimally contaminated so opinions are divided whether hand dryers act as reservoirs of bacteria or blowing wind causes more bacteria to stick to hands.

As per reports, the lead author of the study, Peter Setlow, said, “bacteria in bathrooms will come from faeces, which can be aerosolized a bit when toilets, especially lidless toilets, are flushed.” This phenomenon is known as “toilet plume.” Aerosols are fine solid or liquid particles dispersed in air or gas.  Hence, it’s only natural that air in a regular public restroom will be teaming with microbes. One way to prevent bacteria in bathroom air is to flush while keeping the lid on the toilet.

Not all bacteria are harmful, in fact a large majority are harmless and some are rather beneficial for humans. However, bacteria from faecal matter in bathrooms can contain dangerous and even drug-resistant strains. The authors of the study said that people with compromised immune systems like the sick or the very old and very young are more susceptible while a normal healthy person may not be affected at all. Some studies have also shown that growing up in too sterile or germ-free environment prevents the immune system from fully developing.

Washing hands before meals and after using the toilets is the best way to prevent a number of dangerous diseases. The study suggests that using paper towels to dry hands may be better than using hand dryers but it’s still too early to tell. The University of Connecticut School of Medicine has started stocking paper towels in all its facilities. The dilemma of using paper towels or hand dryers is of course secondary to the availability of hygienic toilet facilities with clean running water.


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by : Pooja Chaudhuri

Related Stories

Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde Hindu

If Hindu Girl Is Touched By A Hand, That Hand Should Not Exist: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde

Woman

This Forest Officer Helped Build 497 Toilets In 9 Tribal Colonies When Authorities Didn’t Show Up

glitter

Why Do Scientists Think That Glitter Should Be Banned? All You Need To Know About It And Its Harmful Effects

Genetically modified soybean oil

Genetically Modified Soybean Oil May Be Harmful For Functioning Of Liver: Study

My Story: My Hand Was Snapped From The Socket; I Asked The Bus Driver To Stop & Ran To Find My Hand

1 Person Displaced Every 3 Seconds, 6.5 Crore People Displaced Worldwide In 2016: UN Report

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Nine Children Working As Bonded Labourers In Meat Processing Units In Delhi Rescued

Awareness

Despite Numerous Government Schemes, These Tribal Communities In Jharkhand Struggle To Survive

Get Inspired

In This City Of Punjab, Mandir & Masjid Stand Next To Each Other

My Story

My Story: Plastic Sanitary Pad Gave Me Repeated Rashes, That’s When I Took Up Sustainable Menstruation And Education

Exclusive

Powerful Initiatives Taken By Brands Across Social Media To Spread Awareness About The Importance Of Voting

News

IAF Chopper Crash: Commanding Officer Removed, Could Face Criminal Charges

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.