Hand dryers spread bacteria researchers say they’re a public health threat

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ST. LOUIS – The next time you’re in a public restroom you may want to skip using those hand dryers.

Researchers placed Petri dishes under hand dryers for 30 seconds and found the dishes grew over 250-colonies of bacteria. Scientists say their findings confirm hand dryers are sucking up bacteria from the air inside bathrooms and depositing it onto your hands.

The bacteria in the air comes from the fine mist which forms when toilets are flushed. In lab-based experiments recreating a public washroom, jet-air dryers introduced 27 times more bacteria into the air than good-old-fashioned paper towels, and these microbes circulated for 15 minutes afterward.

Researchers advise using paper towels as a more hygienic way to dry your hands.

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