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Hand drying - Mayo Clinic study(1) shows paper towels are hygienically superior to air dryers
Paper towels versus hot air dryers? The question of relative efficiency, hygiene and cleanliness in the competition between paper hand towels and blow air dryers has been strongly debated in recent years. Now, in what is very good news for the tissue paper business, the very well respected and influential Mayo Clinic Proceedings has come out and concluded that, from a hygiene point of view, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers.
The Mayo Clinic Proceedings is one of the world's premier peer-reviewed clinical journals in general medicine. With a circulation of 124,000, it is among the most widely read and highly cited scientific publications for physicians.
A recent article entitled "The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of the Evidence" is based on a review of 12 scientific studies carried out from 1970 up to 2011. The article states that "paper towels can dry hands efficiently, remove bacteria effectively, and cause less contamination of the washroom environment."
Recommended where hygiene is paramount. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the article concludes that "from a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers. Paper towels should be recommended in locations where hygiene is paramount, such as hospitals and clinics."
The very-well respected Washington Post newspaper(2), in commenting on the results, not only highlights the fact that paper towels are hygienically superior but more fundamentally "People prefer them. Studies in 2009 and 2000 found a significant majority (55 percent in the 2009 study, 62 percent in 2000) preferred paper towels to hot air or jet air dryers (no more than 28 percent in either study). In fact," concludes the author, "I defy you to find anyone who actively enjoys hand dryers."