Drying your hands, however, is an entirely new matter, with hand dryers in public bathrooms apparently not a good option.
People use hand dryers for a plethora of reasons too - one of them might be because they enjoy the feeling of hot air on their wet hands. Setlow, who is in his 70s, told the publication that he has stopped using hand dryers.
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The University of CT added paper towel dispensers to 36 of its bathrooms after completing the study, Newsweek reported. Unlike other types of B. subtilis often found in soil, this strain is only found in laboratory environments. Retrofitting hand dryers with HEPA filters reduced bacterial deposition by hand dryers ∼4-fold, and potential human pathogens were recovered from plates exposed to hand dryer air whether or not a HEPA filter was present, and from bathroom air moved by a small fan.
The research adds to a growing body of evidence showing that hot-air hand dryers have a role in the spread of bacteria-safe and potentially unsafe.
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Researchers in CT say using hand dryers can blow bacteria throughout bathroom surfaces and your hands.
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. UConn's School of Medicine has already begun to trade in the bacteria-spreading dryers for regular paper towels and scientists recommend always closing the lid before flushing any toilet. However, when the team retrofitted some of their dryers with HEPA filters, they only blocked about 75 percent of bacteria. If there are no paper towels around, maybe you can just air dry them yourself?
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