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When it comes to preventing the spread of Covid-19, what you choose to dry your hands can be just as important as how you wash them.
June 1, 2020 - S SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Ever since we were children, we have been told how important it is to wash our hands to stop the spread of germs. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to handwashing and hand hygiene. Experts have confirmed routinely washing hands is an essential practice to prevent infection. However, poor handwashing is likely to leave hands still contaminated.
Washing carefully is important, but what follows can be just as important.
Experts say that if you wash your hands following the appropriate protocol, the method of drying your hands won't matter, and most people believe if you have scrubbed off bacteria and viruses from your hands, you do not need to worry about spreading those by an air dryer blast. However, research has found using air dryers to dry poorly washed handscan spread disease over clothing and surfaces. In addition to this, a recent research letter published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed airflow direction was consistent with droplet transmission.
Cloth Towel, paper towel or hand dryer?
In most public washrooms, the choice nowadays is usually between a cloth towel, a disposable paper towel and an electric hand dryer (which could be either a hot air dryer or a jet-airdryer). If you had a choice between these methods of hand drying, which method should you choose?
The Choice is often yours to make.
Believe it or not, the difference in the hand drying method you chose could be quite significant. Chances are you do not need a university study to tell you that cloth towels harbor more germs than disposable paper towels. But where you should have questions in your mind is with electric hot air and jet-air hand dryers. Despite being marketed as the most hygienic way to dry hands by their manufacturers, studies have shown that electric hand dryers actually contribute many times more contamination than other forms of hand drying. With the recent publication of the research letter concerning airflow transmission of the COVID-19 disease, the use of a air dryer becomes a very risky form of hand drying. Disposable paper hand towels, while still remotely capable of spreading disease, have been proven to transmit much less... and can actually help remove contamination because of the abrasive effect they naturally have on the skin.
Hands down - Disposable Paper Hands Towels are Best!
So, the next time you are considering cloth, paper or electric hand dryers - think carefully. When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, what you choose to dry your hands is very important. If someone you know tries to argue the point with you, just ask them if they can show you a hospital (or any healthcare facility for that matter) providing hot air or jet-air dryers at their wash basins. As they walk away wondering how to answer your question, that should help prove your pointabout the importance of choosing paper hand towels to dry hands. Where human health and hygiene is important, the choice of a hand-drying method should be considered very carefully - and disposable paper towels win hands down!