Here at Handy Dryers we take pride in being a carbon trust accredited supplier and work closely with a variety of suppliers and customers to ensure that we are as ECO friendly as we can be and produce hand dryers that are ECO friendly.
The environmentally friendly hand dryers that we produce are not only friendly on the earth but also friendly on the pocket thanks to the significant cost savings that can be made by installing one in place of paper towels or an old, out-dated hand dryer that relies on hot air to dry hands slowly. An average size company will spend approximately £2000 on paper towels per year whilst after the initial purchase of a hand dryer it will cost on average £60 per year to run.
Why do we need an effective method to dry our hands?
Maintaining hand hygiene is essential to sustaining our health as well as others that we come into contact with. Throughout the day, it is easy for our hands to come into contact with microbes that contain infectious diseases like norovirus, influenza and E. Coli. Bloomfield et al (2007) found that maintaining good hand hygiene reduced the incidence of infection significantly for gastrointestinal infections as well respiratory tract and skin infections.
Drying your hands effectively is vital, as wet hands transfer germs much easier than dry germs and can considerably increase infection rates (CDC, 2020). Now so more than ever, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining good hand hygiene has been labelled as one of the key practices to slow down the rate of infection (WHO, 2020).
What is the most effective method to dry our hands?
A 2019 study found that jet air dryers were slightly more effective than paper towels and warm air dryers in removing bacteria from the hands (Suen et al, 2019). The CDC (2020) also state that the most effective forms of hand drying are either using a clean towel or air drying. Therefore, the environmental impact and cost of each method must be considered when deciding on the appropriate option.
Which is more eco-friendly – Hand dryers or paper towels?
In the majority of locations, the use of a hand dryer system has a considerably lesser impact on the environment than a paper towel dispenser system. Referring to the impact on global warming, human health and ecosystem quality, a paper towel dispenser system had a 162%, 38% and 145%, greater impact respectively than a hand dryer system. Admittedly, a hand dryer system has a greater pull on resources through its use (87%), due to requiring electricity for it to function. Therefore, in areas with a carbon intensive electric grid, a paper towel dispenser is the more eco-friendly option. (Joseph, Baah, Jahanfar and Dubey, 2015).
When deciding on the appropriate option for your business, the substantial cost savings and lesser impact on the environment, in particular global warming, make hand dryers the ideal hand drying choice to uphold effective hand hygiene.
Bloomfield, S., Aiello, A., Cookson, B., O'Boyle, C., & Larson, E. (2007). The effectiveness of hand hygiene procedures in reducing the risks of infections in home and community settings including handwashing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. American Journal Of Infection Control, 35(10), S27-S64. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2007.07.001
Joseph, T., Baah, K., Jahanfar, A., & Dubey, B. (2015). A comparative life cycle assessment of conventional hand dryer and roll paper towel as hand drying methods. Science Of The Total Environment, 515-516, 109-117. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.112
Suen, L., Lung, V., Boost, M., Au-Yeung, C., & Siu, G. (2019). Microbiological evaluation of different hand drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands. Scientific Reports, 9(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50239-4
WHO. (2020). WHO SAVE LIVES: CLEAN YOUR HANDS IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19 [Ebook]. WHO. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/WHO_HH-Community-Campaign_finalv3.pdf?ua=1