MANSFIELD, Conn. — You may want to think twice before drying your hands in public restrooms; new research shows exactly how automated dryers may be spreading germs. Researchers at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University are behind the study.
Their work, published by the American Society for Microbiology, shows some dirty truths.
Researchers placed petri dishes under bathroom hand dryers for 30 seconds and again for two minutes.
The dishes exposed for 30 seconds grew more than 250 colonies of bacteria. Compare that to the single colony of bacteria found to grow on dishes exposed for the entire two minutes.
Researchers confirm that happens because hand dryers suck up bacteria from the air inside bathrooms and deposit it onto people’s hands.
According to scientists, bacteria in the air comes from the fine mist which forms when toilets are flushed.
The study suggests the most hygienic way to dry hands in a public bathroom is by using paper towels.