In a new report on virus dispersal published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, a group of researchers tested three different hand drying methods, paper towels, conventional “warm air” dryers and “jet dryers” such as the Dyson Airblade to discover which ones were the dirtiest.
Their findings indicated the Airblade-type models spread 1,300 times more nastiness than paper towels and 60 times more than warm air dryers. They also discovered jet dryers send these germs flying up to 9 feet! Gross! We should all switch back to paper towels now right? Well… Not quite.
Many people have been using this study as an excuse to argue in support of paper towels, because destroying our environment is just so much better than getting some gross stranger cooties! But how worried should you be? Well not at all actually, here’s why:
Firstly, the whole experiment is overly exaggerated, the Participants in the study were asked to wear gloves and wash their hands in a suspension of viruses. They were then asked to dry their hands using one of the three hand-drying methods. The first problem with this is that no normal not dead yet person would be walking around with that much nastiness on their hands, and second, even if they did they would’ve already washed their hands with soap and water because… Why the hell else would you be drying your hands?!
Also according to Dyson, there may be some foul play at work here in the hand washing industry, as told by a Dyson rep to The Independent: “The paper towel industry has scaremongered with this [type of] research for the past four years.” so we could just simply be looking at some corrupt studies done as a way to try and save the dying paper towel industry , which is oddly similar to the tactics used by the tobacco industry .
Also to be afraid of germs is kind of like being afraid of sunlight, or oxygen or anything that’s literally everywhere and unavoidable. In a bathroom there’s already plenty of viruses floating around by way of flushing toilets, so applying warm air to your wet hands to save some trees is really not gonna kill you any faster than anything else will.
So go ahead, wash those dirty hands and dry them proudly knowing your gonna be inhaling someones feces from the air no matter what you do.
Featured PhotCredit: Adam Lappin, Flickr