Study: Dyson hand-dryers aerosolize germs on unwashed gloves, spreading them farther than other methods


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Why would you dry unwashed hands???

WHY WOULD YOU DRY UNWASHED HANDS???

That said, I prefer paper towels as well.


#3

My wife insists on paper towels since she can use them to open the washroom door on her way out.


#4

Why would you dry unwashed gloves?


#5

I’m ok with this. I’ll keep using them, since I’ve been exposed to my own germs. The rest of you filthy heathens better sterilize your hands before using.


#6

The conflict of interest on the article states, “This study was independently funded in full from a University of Westminster research reserve account. Keith Redway has received honoraria from the European Tissue Symposium for microbiological advice and travel expenses to attend meetings and conferences.”


#7

To put this in perspective, if Family Feud asked “name something fun you might find in a public bathroom”, the only two answers would be “Airblade dryers” and “glory holes”, so let’s not get too het up about the threat of disease from hand dryers.

Though, if Dyson themselves used nebulous pseudoscientific germ-hysteria to sell these things, it’s kind of apt that it would turn around and bite them. Live by the woo, die by the woo, I say.


#8

I prefer the XLerator-style drier. http://www.exceldryer.com/landingpage/xlerator/?ibp-adgroup=exceldryer&gclid=CPbhx8DmkMwCFQQpaQodEw0Ofg

The thought of putting my hands into the socket of the Dyson has always creeped me out. I wish they would have tested a proper one, but I’ll admit that the XL would probably be just as bad at spraying germs around.


#9

So, the study itself was not funded by paper towel companies, but one of the authors has received money for fees and expenses from paper towel interests. Doesn’t necessarily mean anything, though it’s certainly not an ideal conflict of interest situation.


#10


#11

Toasting your germs is not a good idea.


#12

Remember sci-hub.io!

Conflict of interest statement from the paper:

Conflict of Interest

This study was independently funded in full from a University of Westminster research reserve account. Keith Redway has received honoraria from the European Tissue Symposium for microbiological advice and travel expenses to attend meetings and conferences.


#13

The Dyson dryers are for hands? I’ve been using them to dry my balls.


#14

The mythbusters episode on this topic was fairly interesting, they found that actually washing your hands with soap and then using a hand dryer is the most sanitary. But if you just rinsed your hands and used a hand dryer, it was the least sanitary because now you’re spraying whatever shit was on your hands all over the room. If I remember right the order of cleanliness was soap+air, soap+paper, rinse+paper, rinse+air.

Granted, mythbusters’ testing is (was) always pretty superficial, they tried a thing twice and then made a conclusion, but the results were curious enough to warrant actual research.

Which this study I guess tried to do, though it doesn’t appear they put effort into testing how effective the airblade is when used appropriately.


#15

On the other hand, it’s a classic ad hominem attack. Wouldn’t it be weird if science was based on evidence?


#16

Dyson dryers (and other high-powered ones) are fun, but too loud, especially in the acoustically harsh confines of a public restroom. As compared to paper towels, I think they’re far more likely to lead to deafness.


#17

I can never use the Dyson without touching some of the walls.


#18

This. They should at least add an Operation-style buzzer for when that happens.


#19

Germs are everywhere, get used to it.


#20

Good point. I guess we should just stop requiring conflict of interest statements and assume that everyone is always doing science without ulterior motives.

A claim that the research was funded by the paper towel industry is obviously false in this case, but ignoring the possibility of research influence due to outside payments from an interested party is just naive. Of course, I can’t find any such claim by Dyson in the links besides just in the Boing Boing summary with regards to this particular study. This link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/13/dyson-airblades-spread-germs-1300-times-more-than-paper-towels/ has them claiming it about a previous similar study which was in fact funded by the European Tissue Symposium: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195670114002461