When you go to dry your hands in the office bathroom, how do you proceed? Consider this answer carefully because making the wrong choice could lead to the fall of humanity and the rise of our animal friends, bloodthirsty to reclaim their kingdom from our centuries of treachery.
If you dry your hands in the bathroom using one of those Dyson Airblades (the kind you stick your hands in), then according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, you are maybe blasting your filthy germs nearly 10 feet across the bathroom, which is both rude and gross.
Here is a nice recap of how the study was conducted from Popular Science:
In the study, the researchers asked participants to dip their gloved hands into a solution of a harmless virus called MS2. After giving their hands a quick shake, the participants tried one of the three drying methods. The researchers then collected samples from the air and from surfaces (petri dishes placed before the experiment) at different distances from where the drying procedure occurred. The jet air dryer was far and away the worst offender, spreading more viruses farther.
By comparison, the study notes, Airblades (allegedly!) spread 60 times more germs than regular warm-air driers.
And 1,300 times more germs than paper towels.
But as Popular Science points out, the study measured the spread of viral plaques and not bacteria, "which are much larger and can also cause disease."
Dyson has been waging a war against Big Paper Towel, launching an ad campaign against them this year, claiming "up to 88% of unused paper towels tested in the U.S. contain bacteria":
This study follows one from 2014 by researchers at the University of Leeds, which suggested there are 27 times more germs around jet driers like the Dyson Airblade than paper towel dispensers. Dyson hit back at that study, calling the research "flawed."
"They have tested glove covered hands, which have been contaminated with unrealistically high levels of bacteria, and not washed," a spokesman for the company told the Telegraph at the time.
So! Seems like germs are everywhere but mostly all over your hands, especially if you are among the monsters who don't wash them and get the rest of us sick.
Aleksander Chan is Fusion's News Director.