With people returning to the workplace, Dyson Airblade™ technology provides a safe, touch-free and hygienic solution for restrooms around the world
After almost a year of working remotely during a global pandemic, many employees are already returning to the workplace, with a keen focus on staying safe, and a demand for healthy and hygienic workspaces, including shared spaces such as restrooms.
It is estimated that we spend one third of our adult life at work1 and in today’s climate it is vital that hygienic, touch-free hand washing and drying solutions are available in workspaces to help control the spread of germs. All Dyson Airblade™ hand dryers have HEPA filtration - proven to capture 99.97% of particles2, including bacteria and viruses, from the restroom air that pass through the filter meaning they dry your hands with HEPA-purified air, not dirty air. They are also touch-free, and with our latest hand drying technology the Dyson Airblade 9kJ, engineered with time-of-flight sensors which activate in 0.25 seconds to deliver HEPA-filtered air. This overcomes the problems faced by some paper towel dispensers and button-based hand dryers, and are up to 99% less expensive to run than paper towels3 with up to 85% less CO2 emissions4. And as Dyson Airblade™ hand dryers don’t use nasty consumables it also means the restroom can be free of overflowing bins and soiled paper towels strewn across the floor which could harbor bacteria and viruses.
It’s clear that they are a safe, cost efficient and hygienic solution for any restroom and provide peace of mind for employees going back to shared working spaces – at a time when hygiene is of paramount importance and futureproofing the workplace with safe and hygienic technology is top of mind.
“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 papers towels. Our Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers also feature HEPA filters that capture 99.97% of particles2, including bacteria and viruses, to dry your hands with clean air, not dirty washroom air.”
Indeed, in a global hygiene study5 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 43% worrying about having to press buttons on hand dryers to use them. 57% 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 43% 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.
So, in response to that and this renewed vigor around hygiene, Dyson also 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.
What is Aerosolization? Aerosolization is the emission or creation of liquid or solid particles, or a mix of both that are suspended in 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” 6, 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 aerosolization 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 concentration of aerosols and bacteria in air. The study results showed that a minimal number of 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.
1. World Health Organization, Occupational Health Global Strategy
2. HEPA filter tested to IEST-RP-CC001.6, by an independent testing laboratory, under prescribed test conditions.
3. Average electricity price $0.1/kWh as of May 2019. For calculations visit www.dyson.com/calcs
4. The environmental impact of electrical appliances and paper towels was measured by Carbon Trust. The calculations were produced using the software Footprint Expert Pro, based on product use over 5 years and using weighted averages of individual countries of use. Dry times for product were evaluated in Max mode using DTM 769.
5. Global survey conducted in July 2020 across 14 countries worldwide (UK, DE, ES, FR, IT, NL, US, CA, MX, CN, JP, MY, SG, AU) with 8758 respondents in total (1,094 in the US), aged 18 years-old or above. Individual percentages vary per country.
6. D. R. PATRICK, G. FINDON and T. E. MILLER: Residual moisture determines the level of touchcontact associated bacterial transfer following hand washing, Epidemiol. Infect. (1997): 119, 319-325.