Scientists have warned about the dangers of hand dryers

Here's why using a hand dryer in a public bathroom is actually a bit sick

You know, they're the little boxes near the sink that you use to dry yours hands when you've washed them after going to the toilet.

"Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria including bacterial spores may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for spread of infectious bacteria including spores of potential pathogens if present", the study said.

Bacterial feces can become "aerosolized" from the flushing of toilets, one of the researchers told Newsweek. Letting your hands air dry is also a more sanitary option. The study by researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine appeared in the latest issue of the journal Applied And Environmental Microbiology. Unlike other types of B. subtilis often found in soil, this strain is only found in laboratory environments. They showed growth of just one or less bacterial colony. The HEPA filters were able to block 75 percent of the bacteria from reaching the hands, but not all hand dryers in public restrooms will be equipped with such filters.

Paper towels or the electric hand dryer? Although that's a lot, it certainly isn't flawless. Convection created by a hand dryer's air streams, for example, might pull in unfiltered bathroom air.

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Scientists looked at multiple bathrooms in research areas at an academic health center to see what effects hand dryers can have on the spreading of bacteria.

Some hand dryers like those made by Dyson do use HEPA filters.

For now, Setlow is sticking to paper towels-as is the University of CT, which has added them to all 36 bathrooms surveyed in the study.

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