80% of common infectious diseases are spread by our hands. Proper washroom hygiene can help stop the spread. Many companies use hand dryers in their bathrooms to help with hygiene. However, research suggests that hand dryers spread more germs than paper towels. Hand dryers move warm bacteria filled water droplets around the washroom, leading to illnesses being shared.
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found that air dryers spread 27 times more microbes and bacteria than paper towels. Surfaces surrounding the air dryers up to 6 feet away were covered in bacteria from the dryer. The bacteria were also found to linger in the air surrounding the dryer up to 15 minutes after use.
Aside from spreading bacteria, air dryers also take longer to dry hands than paper towels. The study also found that a single paper towel dried hands in 10 seconds, compared to an air dryer which took 45 seconds. Since bacteria is more likely to transfer when hands are wet it is important that people are able to dry their hands quickly.
Staying informed is an easy way to understand the spread of bacteria and keep your work environment safe from potential illness. Speak to your Snell Representative for other ways to help prevent the spread of illness this winter.