Health & Fitness

Proof that you shouldn't use hand dryers in public toilets

Apologies to the germaphobes.

Yeah, Dettol may be the way to go when you gotta go.

Well, here's some news that will leave you feeling shook: those hand dryers installed in every public toilet known to man might not be quite as hygienic as you'd hope they are.

While hand dryers (and we're talking the effective ones, not the ones that blow out less hot air than you could with your own lungs) certainly score points on the eco-friendly scale, as Facebook user Nichole Ward demonstrated, they're not exactly the height of cleanliness.

Posting on Facebook, Nichole photographed the result of an experiment she did that had pretty terrifying results. Placing the open plate of a Petri dish in an enclosed hand dryer in a public toilet for three minutes, Nichole then left the dish for a few days. When she returned to look at it, this is what had grown:

A whole lot of grim-ness. "DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again," Nichole warned. "This is the several strains of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria that you're swirling around your hands, and you think you're walking out with clean hands."

Adding that her post was simply designed to raise awareness, and not to instil fear, Nichole was evidently keen to bring the likely lack of hygiene to people's attention. But what's a better alternative? Paper towels in theory - but it's not good for the environment to waste that much paper.

Maybe we should all just stand there for half an hour and let our hands drip dry post-handwash instead.