6 November 1998

Bacteria Love A Good Blow

A study carried out by the University of Westminster, UK, found that people who use warm air dryers rather than towels have, on average, 255% more general bacteria on their finger tips. It seems that wiping your hands gets rid of bacteria the water leaves behind, reducing general bacteria counts by 58% for paper towels and 45 % for cotton (if they are clean). And warm air dryers actually circulate bacterially contaminated air.

This study of peoples washing habits in public toilets found that nearly all the warm air dryers showed evidence of a potentially unpleasant bacteria call Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause food poisoning. Most had at least six types of gut bacteria.

Keith Redway of the Applied Ecology Research Group of the School of Bioscience at the University of Westminster was reported as saying "studies that had given dryers a cleaner bill of health have generally used new dryers in artificial laboratory situations and/or abnormally long drying times".

Again, commercial interests do not reveal every angle on a story.

Picture courtesy of and �World Dryer Corporation