In the air: Just how germy are those hand dryers in public bathr - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

In the air: Just how germy are those hand dryers in public bathrooms?

  • Special ReportsMore>>

  • In the air: Just how germy are those hand dryers in public bathrooms?

    In the air: Just how germy are those hand dryers in public bathrooms?

    Monday, June 25 2018 5:45 PM EDT2018-06-25 21:45:19 GMT
    You probably do it without any thought, put your hands under the dryer after washing your hands at a public restroom. Have you every thought about what exactly is being blown onto your hands? Think about it, every time you flush, fecal bacteria may be shooting up into the air. In a recent national study, scientists say from there, it goes into the hand dryer and onto your hands.  "Just wash my hands, put them under there. Don't really give it no thought," Toledo resid...More >>
    You probably do it without any thought, put your hands under the dryer after washing your hands at a public restroom. Have you every thought about what exactly is being blown onto your hands? Think about it, every time you flush, fecal bacteria may be shooting up into the air. In a recent national study, scientists say from there, it goes into the hand dryer and onto your hands.  "Just wash my hands, put them under there. Don't really give it no thought," Toledo resid...More >>
  • The path to a debt-free education? Save early and often

    The path to a debt-free education? Save early and often

    Friday, June 15 2018 6:10 PM EDT2018-06-15 22:10:31 GMT

    Jonathan Sagaser is one of millions of American parents working to send his kids to college. "We had the inspiration to do it early on," he says. Jon and his wife own Sebastiano's Italian restaurant in South Toledo. Their three children, age six, four and two spend a lot of time there as the couple sometimes works 60 to 80 hours a week as small business owners. They plan to pay for half of each of their children's education. "I guess we just want to give them a little b...

    More >>

    Jonathan Sagaser is one of millions of American parents working to send his kids to college. "We had the inspiration to do it early on," he says. Jon and his wife own Sebastiano's Italian restaurant in South Toledo. Their three children, age six, four and two spend a lot of time there as the couple sometimes works 60 to 80 hours a week as small business owners. They plan to pay for half of each of their children's education. "I guess we just want to give them a little b...

    More >>
  • Day tripping: Have an adventure without busting your budget

    Day tripping: Have an adventure without busting your budget

    Tuesday, June 12 2018 10:40 AM EDT2018-06-12 14:40:18 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    We're all familiar with our fantastic metroparks, the Toledo Zoo and the Toledo Museum of Art. We have our staples, but if you're up for an adventure this summer, and need to watch your wallet, you need ideas and advice. “The more you can be out and about doing things, the less time they're spending in front of a tablet or a TV,” said Jen Sherwin.  Between nieces and nephews, babysitting, and her own child, Sherwin has finding things to do down to a science.

    More >>

    We're all familiar with our fantastic metroparks, the Toledo Zoo and the Toledo Museum of Art. We have our staples, but if you're up for an adventure this summer, and need to watch your wallet, you need ideas and advice. “The more you can be out and about doing things, the less time they're spending in front of a tablet or a TV,” said Jen Sherwin.  Between nieces and nephews, babysitting, and her own child, Sherwin has finding things to do down to a science.

    More >>
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

You probably do it without any thought, put your hands under the dryer after washing your hands at a public restroom. Have you every thought about what exactly is being blown onto your hands?

Think about it, every time you flush, fecal bacteria may be shooting up into the air. In a recent national study, scientists say from there, it goes into the hand dryer and onto your hands.

 "Just wash my hands, put them under there. Don't really give it no thought," Toledo resident Jennings Faulkner said about using hand dryers.

Temperance resident Jeff Szenderski added, "Does make you think, it's probably not a good thing."

WTOL 11 put the study's findings to the test at a local Metropark. Jeff Jacobs, operations manager of microbiology at Mercy Health, wanted to compare what comes out of the hand dryer to what's just floating around in the air inside the bathroom.

"I'm just gonna set these plates out and leave them uncapped for a few seconds to see if there's anything in the air that's going to be on the plates," Jacobs explained as he set up the experiment. He then held different plates under the dryer.

In a couple of days, the results were in. Jacobs found bacteria on both the plates put under the dryer and in the open air, but with one main difference.

"We found 30 under the hair dryer and two in the open air," Jacobs said. That's 15 times the amount of bacteria under the dryer.

"It's surprising," Jacobs said. "The hand dryers, you're going there to wash your hands and you're using the hand dryers and it could, theoretically, be blowing around bacteria."

So what kind of bacteria are we talking about? Jacobs says it called bacillus. Yuck, right? Sort of.

"It's something that you would normally expect to find in a bathroom. It's skin flora, can be found in plants. It's a restroom with an open door into a park. It's what you would expect to find," Jacobs explained.

It's a bit of a predicament for people wanting to be environmentally friendly or businesses trying to cut costs. "There has to be a solution with these blow dryers. It's probably a good thing, but there's gotta be a screening process before the air comes out, that doesn't cause bacteria to come out on you," Szenderski said.

Thankfully, Jacobs says the bacteria won't make you sick, but the thought of any bacteria being blown on your presumably clean hands is enough to make some reach for the paper towels. "I ain't gonna use no more hand dryers," Faulkner said.

As far as filters for dryers, researchers tried HEPA filters as part of the national study. Those filtered out 75 percent of the bacteria.

Experts says one of the best ways to ward off illness is through handwashing. 

The Centers from Disease Control recommends these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Pizza Palooza kick off in Sylvania this weekend

    Pizza Palooza kick off in Sylvania this weekend

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:56 PM EDT2018-07-21 01:56:42 GMT
    (The event also brings a little friendly competition. There were seven different pizza vendors showcasing recipes, hoping to win the prize for best pizza place.)(The event also brings a little friendly competition. There were seven different pizza vendors showcasing recipes, hoping to win the prize for best pizza place.)
    (The event also brings a little friendly competition. There were seven different pizza vendors showcasing recipes, hoping to win the prize for best pizza place.)(The event also brings a little friendly competition. There were seven different pizza vendors showcasing recipes, hoping to win the prize for best pizza place.)

    Live music, family friendly activities, and of course, eating pizza, are just a few things you'll find at this delicious event.

    More >>

    Live music, family friendly activities, and of course, eating pizza, are just a few things you'll find at this delicious event.

    More >>
  • Workforce development order from Trump adds local work opportunities

    Workforce development order from Trump adds local work opportunities

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:44 PM EDT2018-07-21 01:44:45 GMT
    (source: WTOL)(source: WTOL)
    (source: WTOL)(source: WTOL)

    The United Brotherhood of Carpenters presented to the president a plan to hire 50,000 carpenters nationwide over the next five years.

    More >>

    The United Brotherhood of Carpenters presented to the president a plan to hire 50,000 carpenters nationwide over the next five years.

    More >>
  • Area residents frustrated after Sylvania Township refuses TARTA expansion proposal

    Area residents frustrated after Sylvania Township refuses TARTA expansion proposal

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:14 PM EDT2018-07-21 01:14:31 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    Some Toledo residents said they wish they were given the opportunity to vote on how their transit system is funded and hope they will be given that opportunity in the future. 

    More >>

    Some Toledo residents said they wish they were given the opportunity to vote on how their transit system is funded and hope they will be given that opportunity in the future. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly