A new study revealed something disturbing about the hand dryers found in public restrooms.
The report, from the American Society of Microbiology, found that the air that comes out of the hand drying nozzles contains more bacteria than normal bathroom air. 60 different bacterial colonies can be blown out of the machines in just 30 seconds.
“Bacteria in bathrooms will come from feces, which can be aerosolized a bit when toilets, especially lidless toilets, are flushed,” Peter Setlow, who authored the study, told Newsweek.
That 'aerosolized' effect combined with the gush of air from the hand dryers can lead to a fecal-y mess.
They studied 36 bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Some of the samples taken contained staphylococcus aureus, which is commonly found in the body but can sometimes lead to serious infections.
Researchers aren't sure if the dryers were the source of the bacteria. Tests run on the machines found fewer particles when they were not in use.