“This global pandemic is the greatest crisis of modern times, and it has fundamentally changed the way we work and our approach and attitudes to hygiene,” says Alex Knox, Dyson VP of Environmental Care. “Keeping shared spaces clean has never been so important and we all want to touch things less. We’ve developed a fast, hygienic, and touch-free way to dry hands, which comes without the cost and environmental concerns associated with paper towels. Our Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers also feature HEPA filters that capture 99.95% of particles, including bacteria and viruses, to dry your hands with clean air, not dirty washroom air.”
It is estimated that we spend one-third of our adult life at work and in today’s climate it is vital that hygienic hand washing and drying solutions are available in workspaces to help control the spread of germs. All Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers have HEPA filtration, drying your hands with clean air – not dirty air. They are also touch-free, with our latest hand drying technology the Dyson Airblade 9kJ, engineered with time-of-flight sensors that activate in 0.25 seconds to deliver clean air. This overcomes the problems faced by some paper towel dispensers and button-based hand dryers and is up to 99% less expensive to run than paper towels with up to 85% less CO2 emissions.
As part of this renewed vigor around hygiene, Dyson commissioned research with an independent laboratory into different drying methods after rinsing hands or properly washing hands and examined the question of aerosolization, which became a topic of discussion at the beginning of the pandemic. Aerosolisation is the emission or creation of liquid or solid particles or a mix of both that are suspended in the air. Depending on the size and other factors they will stay longer in the air or will settle quicker. For example, 10 microns aerosols could take a few minutes to settle while aerosols smaller than 0.3 microns might never settle. The time of settling increases with the decrease of the size of the aerosol.
The new research supports that Dyson Airblade technology is a safe and hygienic washroom solution, especially compared to paper towels, giving employers and employees assurance that a Dyson Airblade hand dryer is a hygienic washroom essential at a time when returning to the workplace is a concern for many.
“We know damp hands can transfer up to 1000 times more bacteria than dry hands”, says Salome Giao, Senior Researcher at Dyson. “We wanted to ensure that people are washing and drying their hands properly and dispel any myths around aerosolisation and hand dryers,” she explains. “Not having a drying option in a washroom due to misinformation can increase the spread of germs and is ultimately unhygienic,” she adds.
What is the study and what does it mean for workers?
This new research supports that the Dyson AirbladeTM is a safe and hygienic way to dry your hands. In this independent study hands rinsed with water (no soap) or washed with soap for 20 seconds were then dried using Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers or paper towels. The objective was to determine the effect of the different hand drying methods on the concentration of aerosols and bacteria in the air. The study results showed that aerosols can be generated in a washroom due to different activities, such as walking and using a tap. It also revealed that in general drying your hands with a Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryer showed no statistical difference to these common washroom activities, such as walking and washing hands.
It also showed the increase of aerosols and bacteria numbers after drying with any of the Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryer models is comparable to the numbers obtained when hands are dried with paper towels. Dispelling any uncertainty around this technology in the process. Add to that the fact that Dyson Airblade technology is touch-free at a time when people are conscious of touching surfaces such as dispensers, door handles, or touching buttons.
In a global hygiene study in July 2020, Dyson examined how attitudes towards the washroom and general hand hygiene have changed since COVID-19 started. The study revealed that poorly maintained washrooms caused people concern, with 40% worrying about having to press buttons on hand dryers to use them. 58% of those surveyed selected touchless activation of a hand dryer as one of the features that would put their mind at ease if using a hand dryer and a further 47% stated that hand dryers with filters, which clean the air would also make them feel more confident when drying their hands with a hand dryer.
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