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Assessment of the effect of hand dryers used in shopping malls on hand hygiene

Published:January 24, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2022.01.002

      Highlights

      • After handwashing, the method of hand drying the most important factors that affect hand hygiene.
      • Staphylococcus aureus and the total bacterial load is higher in the blower outlet of the hand dryers than washed hand, blown air, and dried hand.
      • Total bacteria count in the unfiltered hand dryers is higher than that in the filtered hand dryers.
      • Using hand dryers negatively affects hand hygiene.

      Abstract

      Background

      Hand drying is one of the most important factors affect hand hygiene. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of hand dryers used in the restrooms located on the food court floors in shopping malls in Turkey on hand hygiene.

      Methods

      Hands were washed for at least 20 seconds by following hygienic hand washing procedures of the World Health Organization. Swab samples were taken from the wet hands after hand washing, then from the dry hands, which were dried under the hand dryers and from the air blowing part of the hand dryers. Samples were cultured on agar plates that were directly exposed to the air-blowing part of the hand dryers.

      Results

      It was found that total coliform bacteria were 0.000 colony-forming unit (CFU)/petri in wet and dried hand, 3.437 CFU/petri in blown air and 5.250 CFU/petri in swab samples. Staphylococcus aureus was found to be 0.125, 64.125, 26.375, and 388.750 CFU/petri, respectively. Total bacteria count was found to be 0.687, 48.750, 35.625, and 595.000 CFU/petri, respectively. S. aureus and the total bacterial load were higher in the blower outlet of the hand dryers than washed hand, blown air and dried hand (P < .05). The bacteria count in the unfiltered hand dryers was higher than that in the filtered hand dryers (P < .05).

      Conclusions

      Using hand dryers would negatively affect hand hygiene even if hands were washed following hygienic hand washing procedures.

      Key words

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