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Sunday, May 16, 2021

WESTERN WELLNESS: HAND DRYING 101

Using jet air dryers on campus can have disgusting consequences.

KIRO 7’s Jesse Jackson recently reported on a study done by the University of Westminster that broke down how many germs different hand drying methods spread. The report compared basic paper towels, hand dryers and Dyson jet air dryers.

Western students can expect to see all three types of hand drying methods at some point in bathrooms across campus.

 Through the Westminster study, jet air dryers were found to spread germs 1300 times more than paper towels and 60 times more than typical air dryers. In a 2014 University of Leeds studyjet air dryers had germ counts 27 times higher than the air surrounding paper towels. Jet air dryers were also found to spread germs nearly 10 feet across bathrooms.

Dyson responded to the claims stating that the experiments conducted were done so under artificial conditions. In February, the company released a Youtube video telling viewers that 88  percent of unused paper towels contained bacteria.

Senior Jessica Skipworth said she typically uses the jet air dryers and has heard of the facts surrounding them, which makes her wary of using the dryers.

“I would probably use paper towels, [but] a lot of my classes are in Miller Hall and the [Dyson dryers] are all they have,” Skipworth said.

In an infographic, indiatimes.com breaks down the advantages and disadvantages for both paper towels and air dryers.

While paper towels are often faster to use and don’t leave residual water, air dryers are environmentally friendly and can reduce one’s carbon footprint.

How do you choose to dry your hands? Let the Western Front know below in the comments.

Hanna Brown, “Western Wellness” reporter. // Photo by Ian Koppe
Hanna Brown, “Western Wellness” reporter. // Photo by Ian Koppe

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