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Hand Dryer vs. Paper Towels

Israel Goldberg

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Eww did you know by using the school’s hand dryer makes you more prone to get a virus then if you had used a paper towel. Drying options in public and workplace bathrooms typically include paper towels and or electric air dryers. The question is, which will most effectively get rid of the germs on your hands?

  A 2012 study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings looked at 12 studies about hand-drying methods and their ability to remove bacteria. The study authors concluded that paper towels are more hygienic than electric dryers and remove more bacteria. One of the studies found more germs remained on hands after hot air and jet drying than paper towel drying.

The main reason is likely that paper towels create friction and this helps physically remove bacteria.

I know using paper towels is more costly than using the hand dryers but at the end of the day would you rather have students come to school, wash their hands and lower the potential risk of getting sick rather than blow dry their hands and never truly clean their hands? British researchers also found that the bacteria persisted in the air around hand dryers long after they were used. Forty-eight percent of the bacteria around hand dryers was collected more than five minutes after use, and the bacteria could still be detected 15 minutes after use.                                                              What does this mean for the students of Hollywood hills high school? This means that most people who dry their hands using the hand dryers are more likely to get sick then if we had paper towels. If the school puts in paper towels there would be a lesser chance for the students to get sick. We could feel better knowing that after we wash our hands that we can leave the bathroom with a very small percent of getting sick                                                                                             Hollywood hills high is a great school and the first that I have gone to that does not have paper towels and has hand dryers instead. For the school it might have been a great investment because they can save money for other things. But for the students it can make them sick.                              

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The student news site of Hollywood Hills High School
Hand Dryer vs. Paper Towels