It has been part of our routine to dry our hands using the hand dryer in the bathroom. But what if instead of just drying our hands, it also releases a vortex of bacteria-laden vapors that may leave your hands, clothing and other body parts soiled with disease-inducing bugs? Would you still use it?
After a toilet has been flushed, fecal matter is dispersed by hand dryers not just through the air also into adjacent rooms as well. High-powered hand dryers are capable of sending the floating particles to external spaces, as well.
The University of Connecticut School of Medicine tested their own public restrooms for the study, assessing the number of bacterial colonies found on sticky plates that they had stashed inside. The bacterial count of trips to the bathrooms that didn’t include the hand dryer was sparse. However, when the hand dryer started spewing hot air, the count multiplied tenfold.
The hand dryer acts like a hot-air delivery system, picking up the particles and dispersing them around the room. Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of food poisoning and normally found in the human gut, and Bacillus subtilis, a fellow occupant of the gastrointestinal system are some of the bacterial particles sent airborne from the force of flushing toilets.
Coming into contact with Staphylococcus aureus may lead to a serious health problem. In fact, it is the leading cause of skin infections can also result in dangerous bloodstream infections and conditions like pneumonia.
Take a closer look at your bathroom design and may this be a wakeup call to building administrations. “This study has implications for the control of opportunistic bacterial pathogens and spores in public environments including health care settings,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Contact us today (02) 906 6584 to have your bathrooms and other rooms in your office inspected and tested.