We have all used them, those hand dryers in many public restrooms that are used to dry your hands after you finish washing, but here’s something you didn’t know — the hand dryers you have been using are blowing out more than air. 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.
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.”
According to the scientists, 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 bacterial contaminated air, and whether bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers.”
The study said it was possible hand dryers are “responsible for spreading pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores” even through an entire building. Researchers also noted Bacillus subtilis PS533 was discovered in every bathroom they tested.
One of the study’s lead authors said the bacteria will not potentially affect human health. However, it is an example at just how quickly bacteria can spread. There are many restrooms that do not offer paper towels and only provide hand dryers, so be sure to come prepared if this study grossed you out as it did me — ill keep the hand sanitizer stocked up.