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National Survey Finds Nearly All Adults Say They Wash Their Hands After Visiting Public Restrooms, But Most Think They Are Exception
Date:6/5/2009

that a large percentage of them are not actually doing so."

The survey results show that most adults, given a choice in a public restroom, would prefer to dry their hands with paper towels. Paper towels was the method selected by 55 percent, followed by: high velocity jet air dryer, 25 percent; hot air dryer, 16 percent; linen or cloth towel, 1 percent; and not sure, 2 percent.

The majority of adults, 59 percent, also selected paper towels as the fastest method for drying hands, followed by: high velocity jet air dryer, 25 percent; linen or cloth towel, 8 percent; hot air dryer, 4 percent; and not sure, 4 percent.

The survey also asked questions to determine opinions on the most hygienic and effective ways for drying hands and reducing bacteria levels. In both cases, the opinions reflected in this poll have been disproved in a controlled experiment conducted late last year by Westminster University in London.

Asked for the most hygienic method for drying wet hands, adults selected: high velocity jet air dryer, 41 percent; paper towel, 31 percent; and hot air dryer, 20 percent. Not sure was selected by 6 percent and linen or cloth by 2 percent.

Asked to rate each method as extremely, very, fairly, somewhat, or not at all effective in drying hands and reducing bacteria levels, adults gave extremely or very effective ratings to:

  • High velocity jet air, 65 percent of respondents
  • Paper towels, 53 percent
  • Hot air dryer, 50 percent
  • Air drying or drip drying, 19 percent
  • Linen or cloth towels, 15 percent

"These opinions giving high marks to hot air and jet air dryers are fairly widespread among consumers, but scientific research shows that paper towels are not only more hygienic and effective but that hot air and jet air dryers actually do more
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SOURCE SCA Tissue
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