People are always wary of using public restrooms, dreading to touch anything in there for fear of coming in contact with the swarms of bacteria that undoubtedly cover every surface of a room frequented by hundreds of people. This is exactly what has prompted companies to come up with sensor-activated appliances. One of these incredible inventions is the hand dryer.
Just put your hands inside, the machine will start blowing hot air, and your hands will eventually get dry. While it’s probably of great help to some (very patient people), others just can’t be bothered to stand there waiting for the thing to finish drying your hands. Wiping them off on your pants just seems like a more attractive option for us, the impatient ones. And for once, it turns out that being impatient pays off, as the hand dryer apparently acts as a giant incubator for bacteria, LADBible reports.
The findings of an experiment conducted by an American student were quite shocking indeed. Nichole Ward from Carlsbad, California, put an open Petri dish inside a hand dryer for three minutes. After 48 hours, look at all the horrible things that grew in the dish!
According to Nichole, several of those disgusting growths are pathogenic fungi and bacteria, which means they can cause diseases. Apparently, Nichole’s point wasn’t to cause fear, just to spread awareness, which is why she shared her findings on Facebook. The post then took a life of its own and it’s been shared over half a million times.
It might be of note that initially, Nichole mentioned that the hand dryer she had experimented on was a Dyson Airblade. However, this piece of information suddenly went missing after the post went viral. The Californian student continued the biology lesson in the comment section:
“The enclosed (like Dyson) are the worst. But not much worse as the older ones that you push the silver button and dry that way,” she wrote. “Fungi spores are still swarming so either way. Do not use them. Just wash with water and soap and leave with wet hands. Paper towels I think [are] still safe though.”
See? Wiping your hands on your clothes FTW!
“From an outside perspective, a blow dryer makes sense,” Nichole concluded. “But the spores in the air of a bathroom are SERIOUS and this was obviously overlooked.”
But was it though? Was it really overlooked? Because Dyson issued a statement regarding this experiment and it might just have something to do with that removed tidbit of information we mentioned earlier.
A spokesperson for the company told ABC Action News that they were “very surprised to see these results” and that the whole experiment had been conducted in dubious circumstances as the methodology Nichole used to get her results was “unclear”.
Furthermore, the Dyson rep informed the public that their hand dryers come equipped with a HEPA filter designed to clean the air from bacteria.
“All Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers have HEPA filters that capture particles as small as bacteria from the washroom air before it leaves the machine,” the spokesperson said. “Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers are proven hygienic by university research and are trusted by hospitals, food manufacturers and businesses worldwide.”
What do we do? Who do we trust? In the end, bacteria is everywhere around us and having to deal with the pesky critters is good for us as it strengthens the immune system. Still, some people on social media seem determined never to go anywhere near a hand dryer.