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Assessment of the bacterial contamination of hand air dryer in washrooms



Type of Spiritual Experience


This NOT a spiritual experience, but it is an important observation from a health point of view.  In essence avoid hot air dryers as they spread disease

A description of the experience

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2016 Mar;23(2):268-71. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2015.06.020. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

Assessment of the bacterial contamination of hand air dryer in washrooms.

Alharbi SA1, Salmen SH1, Chinnathambi A1, Alharbi NS1, Zayed ME1, Al-Johny BO2, Wainwright M3.

The present study was carried out, using standard techniques, to identify and count the bacterial contamination of hand air dryers, used in washrooms.

Bacteria were isolated from the air flow, outlet nozzle of warm air dryers in fifteen air dryers used in these washrooms. Bacteria were found to be relatively numerous in the air flows. Bacterially contaminated air was found to be emitted whenever a warm air dryer was running, even when not being used for hand drying.

Our investigation shows that Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Micrococcus luteus, Pseudomonas alcaligenes, Bacillus cereus and Brevundimonad diminuta/vesicularis were emitted from all of the dryers sampled, with 95% showing evidence of the presence of the potential pathogen S. haemolyticus.

It is concluded that hot air dryers can deposit pathogenic bacteria onto the hands and body of users. Bacteria are distributed into the general environment whenever dryers are running and could be inhaled by users and none-users alike. The results provide an evidence base for the development and enhancement of hygienic hand drying practices.


Bacterial pathogens; Contamination; Hand air dryers; Washrooms



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