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New study says air hand dryers spread germs

Posted at 12:32 AM, Apr 12, 2018

Washing your grubby mitts is one of the best ways to cut your chances of getting sick and spreading harmful germs to others, but a new study may make you think twice before you use air hand dryers in public restrooms.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine found the dryers may suck in bacteria from flushing toilets and spread it onto your hands.

The study shows bathrooms without hand dryers had just six pathogens compared to 254 in bathrooms with hand dryers.

University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Chuck Gerba said the study hints that places like healthcare facilities may just want to ditch the dryers and turn to trusty towels. He says most of, if not all, public health facilities in Tucson, Arizona only use paper towels.

That's the best way to do it, you're not blowing air around the facility and it's effective.

For those at home who are looking for ways to keep their hands clean, Dr. Gerba said hand sanitizer is just as effective.


Carlos Herrera us a reporter for Scripps station KGUN in Tucson, Arizona. He can be reached via email at, on Facebook and on Twitter.