Paper Towels Blast Hand Dryers in the Battle of Germs

Paper Towels Blast Hand Dryers in the Battle of Germs
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Recent studies show that there are plenty of good reasons to stock up on paper towels if you want to prevent the spread of germs. Most people realize that hand washing is critical to reducing the risk of infection, but proper drying is also an important part of good hand hygiene. Research shows that paper towels are the smart choice for hand drying for several reasons.

Just as in hand washing, hand drying needs to be thorough because bacteria thrive in moist environments. A number of studies have focused on the effectiveness of paper towels versus hot-air dryers and found that not only do paper towels do a better job of drying hands, they also reduce bacteria, while hand dryers have been shown to actually increase bacteria on hands by up to 255%.

In addition, hand dryers can disperse bacteria into the surrounding area which can contribute to cross contamination. When researchers measured bacterial dispersal with different hand drying methods they found none with paper towels, but bacteria was found within a 3-ft. radius of the hand dryer and on the research subject's clothes. Add in the fine aerosol sprayed into the air every time a toilet is flushed, and the air movement produced by hand dryers could be spreading fecal bacteria as well. Rubbing your hands under a hot air dryer can also lead to bacterial dispersal while rubbing your hands with a paper towel creates the friction needed to remove the germs that are then captured in the paper towel and thrown away.

One study revealed that hand dryers actually harbor germs because they provide the warm, moist environment bacteria prefer. Researchers found that 97% of the tested hand dryers had bacteria on the outlet nozzle surfaces and all of them had high bacterial counts on the air inlet.

Another reason paper towels are the best choice? People prefer them. In a 2009 survey of 2,516 US adults, 55% of respondents selected paper towels as the preferred method for drying their hands. Another survey showed that people feel hand dryers are noisy and take too long. Most people aren't willing to wait the length of time necessary to get their hands dried under a hand dryer. Some of those surveyed admitted to skipping hand-washing all together to avoid using a hand dryer.

The Mayo clinic summed up the argument for paper towels in The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of the Evidence: "most studies suggest that paper towels can dry hands efficiently, remove bacteria effectively, and cause less contamination of the washroom environment. From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers." 

Croaker has a complete line of hand towels and hand soaps with several dispensing options.  Also, with Croaker's Dispenser Program, featured dispensers are provided at NO CHARGE, with FREE INSTALLATION and LIFETIME FREE REPLACEMENT.

See all your options at croakeronline.com, or contact us for more information.

By Barbara Pauli | | 0 comments
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