Dyson Airblade hand-driers spread 60 times more germs than standard air dryers, and 1,300 times more than standard paper towels, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.
According to their findings, the Dyson drier’s 430mph blasts of air are capable of spreading viruses up to 3 meters across a bathroom. The standard drier spread viruses 75cm, and the hand towels 25cm.
In 2014 a similar study by researchers from the University of Leeds found that airborne germ counts were 27 times higher around jet air dryers in comparison with the air around paper towel dispensers.
Research lead Professor Mark Wilcox said: “Next time you dry your hands in a public toilet using an electric hand dryer, you may be spreading bacteria without knowing it. You may also be splattered with bugs from other people’s hands.
“These findings are important for understanding the ways in which bacteria spread, with the potential to transmit illness and disease.”
The earlier study was funded by the European Tissue Symposium. A spokesman for Dyson said at the time: “This research was commissioned by the paper towel industry and it’s flawed.
“They have tested glove covered hands, which have been contaminated with unrealistically high levels of bacteria, and not washed.”
In February this year Dyson released a video on its YouTube channel hitting back at claims that paper towels are more hygienic than its hand-driers.
Titled “Paper’s Dirty Secret”, a voiceover on the video says: “Independent research shows that before they even reach the washroom, paper towels can contain large communities of culturable bacteria.”
“Once in the washroom, bacteria in the air and contamination from previous users can be picked up by paper towels … Up to 88% of unused paper towels contain bacteria.”