Cleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 23rd March 2023 Issue no. 1057
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Countries lift ban on electric hand dryers in public washrooms
The electric Hand dryer Association (eHA), the official body that represents the global hand dryer industry, chose yesterday - World Hand Hygiene Day, to point out the importance of proper hand hygiene and welcome several countries' decisions to lift bans on electric hand dryers in public washrooms and workplaces.
In a press statement, the eHA said:
"It has been proven that hand dryers do not spread the Covid-19 virus. As such, last Spring, the UK government was first to announce exactly this, with the Spanish government following closely behind in easing regulations on the use of hand dryers in public places. More recently, on 13th April 2021, the powerful Japan business organisation, Keidanren, lifted the ban it had introduced on the use of hand dryers in restrooms, offices and production sites, after concluding the risk of spreading the Coronavirus from their use is negligible.
Late in April, the German workplace authority, the Federal Ministry of Labor, lifted its regulations recommending against the use of electric hand dryers in public toilets and washrooms. This is due to the fact that good hand hygiene plays a significant role in the fight against Covid and, thanks in part to the eHA, the public now understands the importance of thorough hand drying, by whatever means, as a crucial part of the hand washing process."
Johannes Behrens, head of sanitary division at eHA founding member Starmix/Electrostar and member of the lobbying committee, points out: "We welcome the decision of the German workplace authority, although it's frustrating that it took a long time for governments to revise their rapid, uninformed decisions made at the beginning of the pandemic to restrict hand dryers in public places. The hand dryer industry has lost a lot of business, particularly during the early stages of the pandemic, and it will take some time to catch up again. However, this process also strengthens our argument that electric hand dryers are hygienic, sustainable and energy efficient."
Organizations such as WHO, CDC (Centers of Disease Control) and Johns Hopkins Medicine also acknowledge that hand dryers equal hand hygiene. Correct hand hygiene has five steps; wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry your hands. The WHO states: "Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer."
As an industry association, eHA supports health organisations such as WHO by providing information at all levels of the health system. People working in the health sector are challenged the most as they need to protect others and themselves. Policymakers must act on relevant science and work with facilities managers to provide the best hygienic standards possible. Therefore, eHA acknowledges the WHO World Hand Hygiene Day as a critical day on the global calendar - particularly during this pandemic.
Companies supporting the eHA are representing an efficient, sustainable and innovative market. Modern products in the air-based hand drying business are characterised by being environmentally friendly, efficient, and economically attractive."
6th May 2021