Bathroom Hand Dryers Blow Fecal Matter on Your Hands

Bathroom Hand Dryers Blow Fecal Matter on Your Hands

Bathroom Hand Dryers Blow Fecal Matter on Your Hands

Researchers in CT say using hand dryers can blow bacteria throughout bathroom surfaces and your hands. After testing the plates, they showed between 18 and 30 colonies of bacteria on them. There was bacteria contamination inside the hand dryers, waiting to spread to the next person who dries their hands with them. The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Now imagine a public restroom with many toilets releasing human waste bacteria into the air.

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Bacterial feces can become "aerosolized" from the flushing of toilets, one of the researchers told Newsweek.

Peter Setlow, the lead author of the study, revealed that he has stopped using hand dryers after the research was completed. Consequently, this study has implications for the control of opportunistic bacterial pathogens and spores in public environments including healthcare settings.

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In the study, researchers searched 36 bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine for a harmless, lab-engineered strain of bacteria Bacillus subtilis called PS533. However, when the team retrofitted some of their dryers with HEPA filters, they only blocked about 75 percent of bacteria.

The scientists also explored the effectiveness of using high-efficiency particulate air filters with the hand dryers. They also exposed some of these sterile plates to the bathroom air under fans for 20 minutes.

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The outcome of hand dryers spreading poo is unlikely to have a serious effect on your health, however, as many day-to-day items, such as mugs and desks, are also covered in germs. But this study showed that adding the filters did not help.

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