As part of an assignment for her microbiology class, Nichole Ward wanted to test how many germs public hand dryers actually have. She placed a petri dish under the open plate of Dyson hand dryer, located in the women's bathroom, for three minutes. And for a few days, she watched as bacteria and fungi accumulated in the dish.
"Ok guys.. ready to have your mind blown?! This here, Is what grew in a Petri dish after just a few days. I stuck the open plate in an enclosed hand dryer of a public bathroom for a total of 3 minutes. Yes 3 only. DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again. This is the several strains of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria that you’re swirling around your hands, and you think you’re walking out with clean hands. You’re welcome," she captioned the photo.
While Nichole aimed to "instill awareness," not fear with her experiment, the photo went viral quickly. It sent Facebook users into panic.
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"Ahhhh!!!! I just used one of those today, and on it it says ‘the most hygienic’ and all I could wonder is what about the air it blows into your face which is the contaminated air in the bathroom. Fecal matter everywhere!!!!! Gross," wrote one commentator.
However, many were quick to criticize Nichole's experiment and questioned if the bacteria that accumulated in the dish is actually harmful to humans. Others, however, argued that hot air emitted from jet air dryers will actually "deposit bacteria," while some said the hot air will kill it off.
Since the posting of the photo, Dyson reached out to ABC to clarify: "We’re very surprised to see these results, and unclear on the methodology employed," a representative confirmed. "Dyson Airblade hand dryers are proven hygienic by university research and are trusted by hospitals, food manufacturers and businesses worldwide."
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