The Truth About Hand Dryers: Why Paper Towels are Best for Drying and Preventing Viruses

2023-12-12 12:13:24

Hand washing to prevent viruses, paper towels are best for drying

Entered 2023.12.11 16:50 Views 6,298 Entered 2023.12.11 16:50 Modified 2023.12.11 18:20 Views 6,298

It has been shown that hand dryers, which are commonly used in public restrooms, can actually spread more germs. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]One of the most important things to prevent viruses is hand washing. However, if possible, it is best to avoid hand dryers installed in public restrooms. Contrary to the belief that it would be more hygienic in removing germs since it can be dried with warm air without touching it, it has been found to actually spread more germs.

“It is commonly known that hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of disease, but drying hands is equally important,” said Dr. Daniel Allen, a family medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States.

Let’s find out the uncomfortable truth about hand dryers that dry your hands with air, as introduced by the Cleveland Clinic in the United States.

Truth 1. Do hand dryers kill germs?

No! Rather, hand dryers can spread viruses and bacteria.

Recently, hand dryers have been installed in numerous public buildings, from private businesses to shopping malls and airports. Studies have shown that using hand dryers actually interferes with the original purpose of hand washing: removing germs.

In 2021, a research team conducted an experiment to determine how paper towels and jet air hand dryers spread germs. Participants wore aprons while washing and drying their hands; half used paper towels and half used hand dryers.

When the researchers analyzed the aprons, the participants’ hands, and the surfaces they later touched, they found that those who used hand dryers had more virus on their hands and aprons. A study published in 2018 found that air from a hand dryer can transfer bacteria floating in the air in public restrooms to your hands. However, these research results do not confirm that hand dryers can spread specific viruses.

Truth 2. Is the Jet Air hand dryer better than the traditional hot air dryer?

No! Jet air dryers spread more microorganisms than hot air hand dryers.

There is a study comparing Jet Air hand dryers with hot air hand dryers and paper towels. Studies have shown that both hand dryers spread viruses, but jet air dryers spread more viruses.

Jet Air hand dryers spread, on average, 60 times more viruses than hot air hand dryers and 1,300 times more viruses than paper towels at six different heights. Among them, the virus spread the most at heights of 2.5 feet (about 0.8 m) to 4.1 feet (about 1.2 m). Jet Air hand dryers also dispersed 20 times more viruses than hot air hand dryers and 190 times more viruses than paper towels at nine different distances.

Truth 3. Are hand dryers more hygienic than paper towels?

No! Paper towels are the most hygienic.

As previous research results show, using paper towels rather than hand dryers is a way to keep more germs away from your hands. “Drying your hands with paper towels not only dries them faster, but the friction removes bacteria and leaves them cleaner,” Dr. Allen explains.

What’s the best way to wash your hands thoroughly?
Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from bacteria and disease. Hand washing recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): △Use warm or cold water. △Wet your hands, turn off the tap, and then apply soap. △Create plenty of foam and wash the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails. . △ Wash for at least 20 seconds, as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. △ Rinse well with clean, running water. △Dry your hands with a clean towel or let them dry naturally.

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