Hand dryers may leave your hands significantly more dirty than before, according to a new study.
The study, the results of which were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, found that plates exposed to 30 seconds of a bathroom hand dryer gained at least 18-60 colonies of bacteria, while plates exposed to bathroom air for two minutes had fewer than one.
The authors concluded that the "results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers."
Still the study's authors, who found that the nozzle of the dryers had minimal bacterial levels, said that more evidence was needed to determine if the dryers were bacteria harbors themselves or simple blew large amounts of contaminated air.
It is known among those paying close attention to bathroom cleanliness - a hobby we probably wouldn't recommend here - that bathroom air can contain fecal matter and droplets of urine.
"The more air ya move? The more bacteria stick," lead study author Peter Setlow told Business Insider. "And there are a lot of bacteria in bathrooms."
The risk of this bacteria to the general public not entirely clear, the majority of whom safely use shared restrooms every day, we think. Setlow, who is in his 70s, told the publication that he's stopped using hand dryers.
"If I'm a person whose immune system is suppressed, I wanna minimize my exposure to bacteria," he said.
The study noted that hand dryers with certain types of filters, called HEPA filters, could reduce the bacteria fourfold.
Upcoming meeting to explore 4G wireless technology
Santa Rosa and Verizon are holding a series of meetings in coming weeks to allay concerns about its network of 4G “small cell” wireless antenna equipment being installed on utility poles around the city.
The four joint Verizon/city meetings will take place:
— Monday, Feb. 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 637 First St.
— Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave.
— Thursday, March 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave.
— Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave.
In addition the City Council is planning to hold a study session on the issue Tuesday, March 6, beginning at 3 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Ave.