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September 2, 2020

Ban the Bathroom Blower

Why All Electric/Hot Air Hand Dryers Should Be Outlawed

This is an open letter to retailers, franchisors, sports venues, hospitals, cruise ships, corporations and any institution—public or private—that uses engine powered hand dryers in their bathroom facilities.

It’s also intended for the employees, consumers, colleagues and partners of these establishments to use their influence to prohibit the use of these vile units.

Air hand dry blowers have been around for nearly 100 years. The first manufacturers touted the device as capable of preventing the spread of contagious disease.

Today, we know—based on a multitude of studies from the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and the Journal of Applied Microbiology, (to name just a few), that these blowers spew germ-filled particles and bacteria through the air, and yes, over your just-washed hands, and your face, and clothes. There is no escape.

Researchers gave the name “toilet plume” to the pathogens and spores that gush from a lidless toilet when it is flushed. Fecal matter is the main particle launched into the atmosphere. Simply put, feces become aerosolized. The foul mess makes a beeline for a warm and cozy environment in which to dwell and fester: the hot air blower.

Some will claim that electric hot air dryers are beneficial in that they reduce paper use and waste, and are therefore more eco-friendly than single-use paper towels.

A Matter of Public Health

However, this debate is now a matter of public health. Because of Coronavirus we live in an era of face masks, social distancing and a greater awareness of the need for frequent hand-washing.

One doesn’t have to suffer from a compromised immune system to be wary of the dreadfully nasty menace lurking in public restrooms. We’re all exposed to the noxious microbes every time a toilet is flushed or the button on a hand dryer is pushed.

And to the manufacturers of these centennial old contraptions who dismiss the scientific studies? Germs are evolving but your dinosaur-device has not. Please come up with a hand-drying unit that is truly a germ-killing machine. Make and sell an evolved product that we can all feel safe using. Design it for today and tomorrow.

To all venues using these foul gadgets? Please take down these bacteria factories and replace them with automatic/touchless paper towel dispensers.

We all want pleasant and safe shopping, travel, working and entertainment experiences during this heightened time of germ-consciousness. Banning the bathroom blowers is a start.

(Photo by Kelly Sikkema)

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