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Soapbox: Kimberly-Clark on the advantages of drying with paper
"With nearly 95% of adults not washing long enough to thoroughly clean the bacteria and viruses from their hands, Kimberly-Clark Professional invites you to discover 'The Disgusting Truth' about jet air dryers that force you to share bacteria and viruses.
When you take into consideration that nearly 95% of adults do not wash long enough to thoroughly clean the bacteria and viruses from their hands, the way you dry your hands becomes even more important. Jet air dryers have been found to increase the numbers of bacteria on hands, compared to hands dried with paper towels.
Additionally, jet air dryers can blow water droplets that can contain bacteria and viruses into the surrounding environment, increasing the potential spread of pathogens.
These devices are often depicted as a compact, faster and more hygienic way to dry your hands. But some surfaces of jet air dryers can harbour up to 48 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Independent scientific studies have found:
- Jet air dryers can increase the bacteria on fingers by up to 42%
- When drying your hands with a jet air dryer, water droplets that could contain bacteria and viruses are blown into the air, travelling as far as 2 metres (6.5 feet) and lingering in the air for up to 15 minutes
- 70% of the viruses spread by jet air dryers land at the height of a child's face
- Using a jet air dryer dispersed 1,300 times more viruses than drying with paper towels
There is a more hygienic choice. Drying with paper towels reduces bacteria on fingers by up to 77%. An article published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings concluded that paper towels are the best hand-drying option in locations where "hygiene is paramount".
The rubbing process of paper towels physically removes bacteria along with moisture. Single use paper towels are critical to hand hygiene and are recommended as the hand drying method by the World Health Organisation Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. When faced with a choice of drying methods, 90% of people showed a behavioural preference for paper towels over jet air dryers in the washroom.
Kimberly-Clark Professional invites you to discover The Disgusting Truth about jet air dryers at www.DisgustingTruth.co.uk, a new website featuring the science supporting Kimberly-Clark Professional's concerns and how you can build a more hygienic washroom environment."
19th July 2018