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Photo #1 from Chattaroy, United States by FlemingFarm🌱 made on 2018-04-14 14:10 for Sola

Bathroom hand dryers are spraying poop at you, study finds |

I never have been a fan of the hand driers in bathrooms. Now I have a good excuse.

Scientists from the University of Connecticut detailed in a new study that bathroom hand dryers are blowing bacteria including fecal matter all over people's hands and throughout the building. The results from the study were recently published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal. Researchers used 36 bathrooms on the campus of the University of Connecticut, and placed data-gathering plates beneath each hand dryer for 30 seconds. After only 30 seconds of drying, researchers wrote that they found between 18 and 60 different colonies of bacteria on each plate.

"These 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," the study reads. "While there is evidence that bathroom hand dryers can disperse bacteria from hands or deposit bacteria on surfaces, including recently washed hands, there is less information on the organisms dispersed by hand dryers, whether hand dryers provide a reservoir of bacteria or simply blow large amounts of bacterially contaminated air, and whether bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers."

Those used in the study were not originally outfitted with HEPA filters, which as CNET notes comes in most dryers made by Dyson. After installing HEPA -- high-efficiency particulate air), researchers said present bacteria decreased but was not completely eliminated. The study further points to the possibility hand dryers are responsible for spreading "pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores" through not only the bathroom but the entire building as doors open and close, and toilets flush. One of the study's lead authors, Peter Setlow of UCONN, told Newsweek that the "simple movement of lots of people in and out of the bathroom" adds to the whole picture.

As noted in the journal, researchers found the bacteria Bacillus subtilis -- PS533 -- in every bathroom tested. This strain of bacteria is said to only be found in laboratory environments, and not out in the soil like others types. 

Setlow told Newsweek that this bacteria holds no potential effect on human health, but its distribution throughout the campus building shows how easy it can spread through the air and from bathroom to bathroom. After the study, he told the outlet that each bathroom used in the study now has paper towel available for any drying needs.

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United States, Chattaroy
Restaurant ice they put in our drinks typically has more fecal bacteria than their toilet water. And now drying hands with air blowers adds bacteria to freshly washed hands. It sounds like its impossible to know if any restaurant is clean. Better eat at home whenever possible.
Not really a huge surprise
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