For decades, hand dryers have been presented as an environmentally and hygienically friendly way to remove water and bacteria after washing hands with soap. But while it seems like a good idea in theory, hand dryers may actually increase the spread of bacteria on skin and clothing. Previous studies have come to similar conclusions, but the latest research may be enough to give even the most ardent hand dryer supporters reasons to avoid them.Via Boing Boing, researchers at the University of Connecticut published a study which confirmed hand dryers draw in "potentially infectious microbes" and spread them when activated. Even the low-powered hand dryers used in the study were prone to gathering fecal material and bacteria from from the air and blasting them on unsuspecting users.How does it happen? Even the cleanest public restrooms are rarely hygienic environments. But the biggest issue comes from flushing toilets without lids. The flushes often send fecal material in the air, which are subsequently sucked in and pushed out by the active hand dryers. It should be noted hand dryers with HEPA filters can cut down on the intake of harmful particles and other unwanted objects in the air. But it doesn't fully eliminate them.Unfortunately, moist hands and skin are an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, especially if the users don't realize what's happening. Many public restrooms don't even offer paper towels as an alternative, leaving the hand dryers the only option. It's almost enough to make us start carrying our own towels around.
I know, a toilet flush safety interlock! Toilet will not flush until the sealing lid is down in place.