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Jet air and warm air driers contaminate air in washrooms and may be unsuitable for use in healthcare settings

Posted By:02/03/2016

Contamination of the washroom: bacteria propelled into the air and onto users and by-standers risks cross contamination between healthcare workers and general public

The peer reviewed study, performed by Prof. Mark Wilcox of the Leeds University and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trusts, concludes that jet air and warm air hand driers have a greater potential to contaminate washrooms by spreading bacteria into the air and onto users and bystanders. The findings have significant implications for infection control health professionals and purchasing managers responsible for equipping hospital washrooms.

Designed and led by expert medical microbiologist Professor Mark Wilcox, of University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and funded by ETS, the study compared the propensity of three commonly used methods of hand drying to aerosolise bacteria. Jet air driers were found to disperse more bacteria-carrying droplets and spread them further than either warm air driers or paper towels. In addition, bacteria were found to persist in the washroom air for a considerably longer time after the jet air drier stopped.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, was presented at the 9th Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) International Conference in Lyon, November 16-18, 2014.
This biennial event gathers some 1000 professionals from around the world including epidemiologists, microbiologists, public health practitioners and directors of infection
prevention and control, to discuss the very latest research and best practice in infection prevention and control.

Source: ETS


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