Hand air dryers found in many workplace bathrooms could be making your hands dirtier – sucking up bacteria from the bathroom air and depositing it onto your just-washed hands. That was what researchers found in a widely reported study last year.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Quinnipiac University researchers found that electric hand air dryers can pull in germs distributed by lidless toilets and blow them back out onto people’s hands. These germs can then be spread throughout the entire office space.
Their study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, showed more bacterial colonies develop in samples exposed to air blasted from hand air dryers than found in the surrounding bathroom air.
These results suggest that while it is always a good idea to wash your hands before you leave the bathroom, there may be a better way to get them dry. Many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand air dryers, and spores can be dispersed throughout a building, the study found.
Restroom Cleanliness and the Bottom Line
It’s not a pleasant idea. But there’s more than just the “ick” factor to consider. Hand washing is an important part of preventing the spread of illness. In the workplace, that’s a matter of health and economics. The flu causes U.S. employees to miss approximately 17 million lost work days in the U.S. each year, at a cost estimated at $7 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
From keyboards and door handles to microwaves and refrigerators, offices have plenty of surfaces for bacteria and viruses to hang out. It’s important to make sure that you have the right hygiene supplies in your office. That may include alternatives to hand air dryers
Cleaner Alternatives to Hand Air Dryers?
At Roscoe we provide a number of alternatives to hand air dryers, including paper towels and continuous cloth roll towels, along with items like antibacterial hand soaps and waterless hand sanitizers. Check out our entire line of restroom supplies for help in keeping your office cleaner and healthier. From sanitation products to towel and linen washing services, we can provide a healthy line of defense against harmful germs. That’s good for your employees and your bottom line.