North American Tissue News

Paper towels are the most hygienic method for drying your hands

Good hand hygiene is crucial in controlling the spread of infections, which is why there are several recommendations on when and how to wash them.

The Covid-19 pandemic raised awareness of the importance of washing your hands properly and more often than usual and equally crucial is washing your hands as drying them.

Studies carried out by the University of Westminster, Leeds, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other works published by the Journal of Applied Microbiology show that using the method that uses air blowing increases the number of bacteria in our hands and worse: they spread microbes through the air, deeply contaminating the environment.

Study on the spread of germs caused by hand dryers

Research shows that air-jet dryers disperse 60 times more bacteria in the air than devices with hot air and 1,300 times more than paper towels. In addition, the longer delay in the drying process causes people to give up on the method. Studies have shown that drying hands in dryers requires 30 seconds of action, it makes people give up in less time (in 19.6 seconds for men and 25.4 seconds for women, a little more patient). Using paper towels would only take 11 seconds. The paper towels would also help to physically remove residues from poorly washed hands, proving to be more effective than blowing air.

In short, the paper towel comes out ahead compared to hand dryers, since:

  • It doesn´t use energy as a source of operation
  • Does not emit carbon dioxide
  • It is the most hygienic of the methods
  • Decrease the amount of bacteria on the skin
  • They are faster in drying hands, while the air dryer makes the customer impatient for the delay and ends up drying their hands in the clothes, thus contracting bacteria.

In times of covid-19, a disease that is putting the whole world in a state of emergency, prevention also depends on the safety of methods. The choice of those that are proven safer for health makes all the difference.

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