The Pros and Cons of Using Hand Dryers in Public Settings


Published Date : Feb 08, 2016

Among the small things that are helping minimize the amount of paper used on an everyday basis, hand dryers play quite a significant role. These simple machines that exhale warm air are being used in a multitude of settings such as educational institutes, public washrooms, restaurants, railway stations, and airport to dry wet hands. 

Environment-friendly Benefits of Hand Dryers

Manufacturers of hand dryers have since long advocated the advantages of using hand dryers to minimize the over use of paper for drying hands and the overall cost cutting when it comes to everyday expenses. Hand dryers are also economically viable. They are a one-time investment in terms of installation and the only other cost is that of electricity to operate the device. These machines are also highly energy efficient given that they run on a simple motor and pump mechanism. The University of Buffalo undertook a study in 2014 and presented an interesting point about hand dryers being extremely environment friendly. The study stated that compared to the amount of carbon dioxide produced by disposing of waste paper napkins, hand dryers produce 42 per cent less carbon dioxide. 

Hygiene and Sanitation of Hand Dryers Questioned 

Whenever a technology or product gains attention and rousing popularity, various studies and researches are carried out to fully examine their viability. Same is the case with hand dryers. The main focus of several of these studies is to understand if there are any threats to the public and if paper napkins have any advantages over hand dryers in terms of hygiene and sanitation. The University of Leeds undertook a study in 2014 to evaluate the bacteria count in the air around paper napkin dispensers and hand dryers. The comparative study measured the presence of airborne bacteria in both the areas and found that the level of bacteria in the air around hand dryers was in fact, a whopping 27 times higher compared to the air around paper napkin dispensers.