Research Article| Volume 9, ISSUE 1, P85-88, January 1987

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Hot air electric hand driers compared with paper towels for potential spread of airborne bacteria

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      Hot air hand driers are increasingly used in both public areas and hospitals, but there is little literature on their bacteriology. Four units were examined by comparing the bacterial aerosols released from hands during use by sets of twelve subjects with those released by paper towels. Tests on two units also included hand imprints on agar plates for detection of residual bacteria. No significant difference between aerosols liberated by towels and driers were observed for two units, while the other two generated significantly fewer aerosols than towels. Impression plates revealed similar numbers of bacteria on the hands after drying by either method. Hot air hand driers appear safe from a bacteriological viewpoint.
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