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Comparison of different hand-drying methods: the potential for airborne microbe dispersal and contamination

  • E.L. Best
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: Microbiology Department, Old Medical School, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK.
    Affiliations
    Microbiology Department, Old Medical School, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
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  • K. Redway
    Affiliations
    Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, London, UK
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Published:December 17, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2014.11.007

      Summary

      Efficient washing and drying of hands is important in prevention of the transfer of micro-organisms. However, knowledge surrounding the potential for microbial contamination according to hand-drying methods is limited. This study assessed the potential for airborne microbe dispersal during hand drying by four methods (paper towels, roller towel, warm air and jet air dryer) using three different models. The jet air dryer dispersed liquid from users' hands further and over a greater range (up to 1.5m) than the other drying methods (up to 0.75m), demonstrating the differing potential risks for airborne microbe dissemination, particularly if handwashing is suboptimal.

      Keywords

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