Home Air Quality COVID-19 Prompts Questions About Hand Dryers

COVID-19 Prompts Questions About Hand Dryers


I will be chatting soon with someone from Dyson about the importance of handwashing and, just as important, proper hand drying—both extremely important in this new COVID-19 world. According to the PR person who contacted me about handwashing and Dyson, damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands. I found a press release from 2009 that backs this up. The hand dryer versus paper towel for public restrooms debate has been going on a long time. I have written about it previously for Green Lodging News.

With COVID-19 everything is about touch points and of course how vulnerable one might be to air droplets carrying the virus. If faced with a hand dryer that puts me at risk of having to touch it, do you think I will use it? No way. Fortunately, most hand dryers are not like that. Most do not have you put your hands in a trough. In fact, many of today’s hand dryers have HEPA filters that filter out viruses from the air coming into the hand dryer and make it easy not to have to touch the hand dryer.

What if a person who has COVID-19 on his or her hands uses a hand dryer? Will the virus get blown into the air for you to breathe in? I plan to ask that question when I interview the Dyson expert. Other questions I intend to ask: Why is a HEPA filter important to have on a hand dryer? Can it catch/stop a virus like COVID-19? For those who have hand dryers with HEPA filters, how often does the filter need to be changed? Can the filter itself become a virus risk over time? If handled improperly?

Watch for the results of my interview soon on Green Lodging News.