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New study examines possible contamination from hand drying methods
Environmental hygiene research and testing institute Eurofins-Inlab, has published the findings of a study it undertook on behalf of the European Tissue Symposium, in which it assessed the microbiological contamination of three types of hand drying equipment in public washrooms.
The study was carried out in various settings in the Ruhr region of West Germany, between February and May 2012 and covered 150 washrooms selected by Eurofins-Inlab, which were fitted with jet air driers, warm air driers, or hand towel dispensers - balanced to represent high versus low use settings.
The sampled surfaces were those most likely to have been touched during hand drying, i.e. the inside surface of jet air driers, the inside or outside surfaces of the outlet tube of warm air driers, and the outlet (bottom) of paper towel dispensers. A surface area (100 cm2) of the floor below each was also sampled.
The samples were processed to determine the total number of microorganisms and numbers of potential pathogens and as the sampled drier device surfaces differed in size, measured microbial counts were re-analysed according to counts per unit surface area.
The comprehensive report on the study's findings, which includes graphs, charts, details of the types of contaminants, study methodology and other information, makes interesting reading. It is available at:
18th April 2013