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Hand hygiene stats.

A reminder on World Hand Hygiene Day

Hand hygiene is more than just proper washing. Complete, hygienic drying is just as crucial.

  • Washing your hands. It’s something we do every day of our lives but rarely think about. That was the case until hand hygiene was brought back into the spotlight thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Data collected from the 2020 Dyson Global Washroom Attitudes survey found that 59% of respondents in the US said they washed their hands with soap and water at least eight times a day since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic.[1] We’re taught at a young age to wash our hands with soap and water - scrubbing thoroughly to wipe away potential germs. But the importance of the final step of the process – drying your hands - can sometimes go overlooked.


    Damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands.[2] Often in public restrooms people face a choice of hand drying method. Most people opt for hand dryers or paper towels, but when neither is available, the same survey found that 27% of US respondents said they were likely to let their hands dry naturally and 24% would dry them on their pants or top.[1] Both options present risks of undoing the work you just did to clean your hands and a 2019 study published in Scientific Reports found that drying on your cloths can result in a six-fold increase in bacteria on your hands.[3]

  • Dyson Airblade in a bathroom
  • When it comes to paper towels versus hand dryers, there is much misinformation about which option is more hygienic. We want to be clear: Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers are hygienic and independently proven safe.[4] A recent study sought to understand how many aerosols were generated by Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers compared to drying with paper towels or washing but not drying. Aerosolization is the action of creating aerosols – tiny liquid or solid particles, or a mix of both, suspended in a gas (e.g., air). Results proved that Dyson Airblade hand dryers had no significant impact on the surrounding air. This supports previous studies that suggest they are as hygienic as paper towels. In addition, Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers are fitted with HEPA filtration proven to capture 99.97% of particles.[5] Air is drawn in through the machine and passes through the filter before purified air is projected to dry your hands. Finally, Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers are engineered to be a touch-free experience using sensors to automatically detect hands.

[1] 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.

[2] D. R. PATRICK, G. FINDON and T. E. MILLER: Residual moisture determines the level of touch-contact-associated bacterial transfer following hand washing, Epidemiol. Infect. (1997): 119, 319-325.

[3] Suen, L.K.P., Lung, V.Y.T., Boost, M.V. et al. Microbiological evaluation of different hand drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands. Sci Rep 9, 13754 (2019).

[4] Based on findings in a 2019 study by Suen et al. published in Scientific Reports, and a separate independent study of particles (≥0.3 microns) and bacteria in air during hand drying, conducted by a third-party laboratory.

[5] HEPA filter tested to IEST-RP-CC001.6, by an independent testing laboratory, under prescribed test conditions.

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