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Bathroom Hand Dryers Spray Hot Feces Germs Everywhere

I’ll just drip-dry from here on.

A new, small-scale study conducted at the University of Connecticut shows bathroom hand dryers are actually extremely gross.

The study, published in the American Society for Microbiology’s Applied and Environmental Biology journal, found the devices spray fecal bacteria and other nastiness from their outlets, spreading an invisible miasma of filth. The test showed the nozzles themselves are relatively bacteria-free. When the fans wind up, problems appear.

The fans suck up nastiness from the air, concentrate it, and then spray it onto your wet hands as you work to dry them off. The study placed bacteria-collecting plates underneath the nozzles and waited to see what would grow.

Exit Theatre Mode

According to the study, “plates exposed to hand dryer air for 30 [seconds] averaged 18 to 60 colonies/plate,” which is the grossest thing. It further recommended installing HEPA filters on hand dryers, which reduced bacterial colonies “4-fold.”

It’s important to note this study only took place on three different bathrooms, all located at the University of Connecticut. Such a small sample size doesn’t conclusively prove all hand dryers are secret poop vape machines. It could just mean the bathrooms at the University of Connecticut are super gross.

Further, grosser studies are needed to determine the breadth of the problem, and what can be done about this invisible turd cloud menace.

Seth Macy is IGN’s Tech and Commerce editor.

Follow him on Twitter @sethmacy.

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