News ID: 213311
Published: 0744 GMT April 16, 2018

Bathroom hand dryers spraying bacteria on your hands

Bathroom hand dryers spraying bacteria on your hands

A recent study found bathroom hand dryers are pretty gross.

A study by the scientists at the University of Connecticut found hand dryers in men's and women’s bathrooms blew bacteria onto hands including fecal matter, wrote.

The study, published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal, stated scientists came to the conclusion after they placed data-gathering plates under hand dryers at 36 bathrooms on the University of Connecticut’s campus.

The researchers said they placed the plates under the dryers for about 30 seconds and found between 18 and 60 different colonies of bacteria on each plate.

The study said, "These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers.”

The scientists wrote it was not immediately clear what ‘organisms’ are dispersed by hand dryers and if hand dryers provide a reservoir of bacteria or simply blow large amounts of bacterially contaminated air, and whether bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers.

The researchers noted the hand dryers did not have the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that come in most Dyson models. Researchers said the HEPA filters helped decrease but not eliminate the bacteria.

The study said it was possible hand dryers are responsible for spreading pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores through an entire building as well.

Researchers also noted Bacillus subtilis PS533 was discovered in every bathroom they tested.

Peter Setlow, one of the study’s lead authors, said, “The bacteria will not potentially affect human health but it shows how easy the bacteria spread.

“The bathrooms they tested now offer paper towels.”



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