Debate over electric hand dryers in the office.

Debate over electric hand dryers in the office. Is it all just a lot of hot air?

Electric hand dryers: a focus on hygiene and environmental impact

As technology has developed in offices, the benefits have been reaped via all the gadgets.

Advances have been steadily appearing in the lesser talked about areas of our work environments – namely the office toilets! In this blog we set out to discuss electric hand dryers.

Today the means for us to wash and dry our hands in the bathroom seem to be quite plentiful. Thankfully, (for the most part), more effective than back in the day. However, there is still debate on the most hygienic options versus the most environmental.

Dyson transforming the industry

Just when we thought we’d got it good, huge advances in hand drying technology came from the likes of mega-brand Dyson, and the ‘Airblade’.

One of the most recent studies by the University of Westminster, compares paper towels, textile roller towels, warm air dryers and jet air dryers.

Three different test models (acid indicator, yeast, bacterial transmission) were used to determine the differences between these drying methods. There was a focus on the potential spread of bacteria.


The hygienic choice

In summary, the jet air dryer projected water the furthest – up to 1.5m. It also led to the greatest dispersal of microbes into the air. The jet dryer dispersed an average of 59.5 colonies of yeast. On the other hand, paper towels recorded only 2.2 colonies.

The clear result from this study is that paper towels are the more hygienic choice.


Thinking about the environment

On the contrary to this, research from UBA Germany has ranked the Dyson Airblade hand dryer as the most environmental friendly way to dry your hands.

Paper towels were reported to have the biggest environmental impact.

The study took into account the emission of greenhouse gases, the noise level, the consumption of raw materials and fossil fuels as well as potential human health impacts. The Dyson Airblade hand dryers produce up to 79% less CO2 than other hand dryers and are able to dry 18 pairs of hands for the price of a single paper towel.

So it would seem that office managers need to make a choice between hygiene and the environment and our ‘toilet talk’ in the office needs to continue to be taken seriously so an optimal method can be found. Our money is on Dyson…