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Study: ‘Jet’ Hand Dryers Act Like Virus Hand Grenades

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology reveals those high-tech jet-air hand-dryers that use a "blade" of high-pressure air to wick hands dry are able to spray viruses as far as 9 feet away from the machine.

At issue is the high-powered motor in the device, in this case the Dyson Air Blade, which not only blows your hands dry, but blows nastiness across the room, scientists confirmed.

By dipping their hands in a harmless virus, the scientists tested the germ-spreading qualities of three drying methods: one, the high-powered jet dryer, the more conventional low-power blower, and finally, paper towels.

Standard dryers, by comparison, could only spread the viruses three feet, and paper towels, just 10 inches from the drying point.

Not surprisingly, Dyson cried foul, notes Popular Science. The company complained the scientists' hands were deliberately covered in more viruses than would be normally found on the average hand, and that paper towel dispensers might not make viruses airborne, but they are covered with other peoples' germs.

Furthermore, Dyson claimed the study was funded by the paper towel industry.

For their part, the scientists concluded that, "The choice of hand-drying device should be considered carefully in areas where infection prevention concerns are paramount, such as healthcare settings and the food industry."

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