Of all the potential grossness one could encounter in a public bathroom, you might assume the hand dryer is a relative safe zone.

You would be wrong.

A study published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that the dryers spread fecal matter onto the hands of those who use them, according to CNET.

And your wet hands? They just happen to be a perfect breeding ground for the growth of germs from said fecal matter.

Still interested in this topic? Buckle up, folks, it only gets worse from here.

As you all know, the toilets in public bathrooms generally don't have lids. Flushing them apparently sends fecal particles hurtling through the air, according to Yahoo.

The dryers then suck up the little bits of poo, warm them and spray them right on your hands, Yahoo said.


Scientists from the University of Connecticut conducted the study by placing a special plate just beneath hot air hand dryers in public bathrooms for 30 seconds. After testing, the plates showed between 18 and 30 colonies of bacteria, according to Yahoo.

"These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers," the report said, according to CNET.

Researchers suggested fitting hand dryers with HEPA filters to address the problem, according to Yahoo. CNET noted that some dryers already use filters.

That said, paper towels, while less environmentally friendly and probably more expensive, could help cut down on the spread of germs, CNET said.


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