Bathroom Hand Dryers Spew Fecal Matter

Scientists say bathroom hand dyers collect and spread bacteria

Scientists say bathroom hand dyers collect and spread bacteria

Researchers examined plates exposed to just 30 seconds of a hand dryer compared to those left in, you know, just plain feces-filled air.

A new study has found dryers are blasting our hands with poo particles, which linger in the air after a toilet is flushed with the lid up.

While the researchers theorized that bathroom hand dryers might have been responsible for PS533 spreading from room to room, it was also revealed that petri dishes exposed to regular bathroom air had only one bacterial colony, as opposed to those that were exposed to half a minute of hand dryer air, which had as few as 18, and as many as 60 colonies spotted per plate. But in bathrooms where such plumes gush regularly, where does all that fecal bacteria go?

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In a new study conducted by a team from the University of CT, researchers went to 36 of the school's bathrooms and placed petri dishes underneath a number of hand dryers. Colonies of that strain made up about 2-5% of the bacteria found on the air-blasted plates, regardless of how far the specific bathroom was from the lab where such spores were made.

"T$3 here is evidence that bathroom hand dryers can disperse bacteria from hands or deposit bacteria on surfaces, including recently washed hands", the study says. "The more bacteria stick", study author Peter Setlow tells Business Insider. He says most of, if not all, public health facilities in Tucson only use paper towels. Spore-forming colonies, identified as B. subtilis PS533, averaged ∼2.5 to 5% of bacteria deposited by hand dryers throughout the basic research areas examined regardless of distance from the spore-forming laboratory, and these were nearly certainly deposited as spores. Dryers could act as "reservoir" for bacteria, they suggested, or perhaps their intense blowing simply provides more exposure to the already contaminated air.

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