Survival Quiz #71
(ModernSurvival.org) – Which of these public restroom items spreads the most germs and bacteria?
• Toilet bowl
• Water faucet
• Hand dryer
• Paper towels
Answer: Hand Dryer. Here’s why…
Public restrooms aren’t always the cleanest places. In fact, most people have at least one horror story of a time when they were forced to ‘hold it’ due to the unsanitary conditions waiting for them in a public bathroom.
While it’s easy to imagine that toilets, urinals, and even sinks could be breeding grounds for germs, there is one area of the public restroom that many would never suspect to be so horrific…
Modern hand dryers may reduce the need for paper towels and, consequently, the need for deforestation, but they aren’t so great for the environment around them. According to a study from the American Society for Microbiology, hand dryers spread a variety of germs, Staphylococcus aureus (the germ responsible for staph infections).
The problem is that hand dryers suck in germs from the surrounding environment, including fecal matter, then disperse them into the air when used. The study determined that hand dryers are capable of spreading germs up to 10 feet away from the device itself. Unfortunately, hand dryers can deposit germs on clothing, which in turn, leads to the spread of contaminants to additional surfaces outside the restroom.
It’s true that paper towels may be worse for the environment than hand dryers. For people, disposable towels are the best bet, especially in times when hygiene is vital (such as a global pandemic). Hand washing is still important to stop the spread of disease, but it’s a good idea to stick with paper towels when it’s time to dry off.
While hand dryers are a surprisingly nasty source of germs, there is another device nearly everyone uses that can become just as gross. To see how to disinfect this item, check out our article on how to sanitize a mobile phone.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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