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Warm Air Fan Hand Dryers are Filthy

Air-dry, fan type hand dryers in public toilets spray particles of faeces and bacteria over your hands and into the air:

” … potential human pathogens were recovered from plates exposed to hand dryer air whether or not a HEPA filter was present, and from bathroom air moved by a small fan. Spore-forming colonies, identified as B. subtilis PS533 averaged ∼2.5-5% of bacteria deposited by hand dryers throughout basic research areas examined regardless of distance from the spore forming laboratory, and these were almost certainly deposited as spores. Comparable results were obtained when bathroom air was sampled for spores. 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.

Importance: While there is evidence that bathroom hand dryers can disperse bacteria from hands or deposit bacteria on surfaces, including recently washed hands, there is less information on: i) the organisms dispersed by hand dryers; ii) if hand dryers provide a reservoir of bacteria or simply blow large amounts of bacterially contaminated air; and iii) if bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers. Consequently, this study has implications for the control of opportunistic bacterial pathogens and spores in public environments including healthcare settings. Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria including bacterial spores may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for spread of infectious bacteria including spores of potential pathogens if present.”

I have always detested them; useless, noisy things.