I have watched the takeover in public bathrooms of hot air hand dryers, Dyson Blades, Extreme blowers replacing traditional paper towels over the last decade or two. In the present global pandemic this really becomes a more significant issue for all of us.
The argument always seems to be that electric dryers of one type or another, are cleaner, more efficient, effective, safer and oh yes, cheaper too. Yet my personal feeling about electric dryers is that they are mostly for "show" and as I casually watch their non-use in many men's rooms I strongly suspect I am not alone. Pants are still utilized by a significant percentage of males in public rest rooms. And the dryers have shifted from low velocity warm air to cooler, higher and higher velocity air from electric turbines, not fan blades.
I also think it is difficult to actually use a Dyson Blade without touching one's wrist or sleeve on the small outer opening and I think they spray a mist everywhere in the room. I know other people have difficulty with contaminating the wrist area because I see it!
But despite suspicions, and the apparent suspicions of my fellow men, electric dryers still seem to be winning due to their constant repetition of how hygenic they are - despite the obvious fact that they blow water droplets and mist all over the place, into the surrounding air, and on one's sleeves and jacket fronts.
I DO KNOW what works in surgery - a thorough, careful 3 minutes or more scrubbing, with surgical soap, warm water and a nail scrub with brushes, followed by careful drying with sterile towels that are then dropped carefully on a non-sterile surface. Some surgeons dip their hands in a basin of alcohol before drying with the sterile towels.
The paper towels in a rest room are not sterile, certainly, but I suspect they are pretty clean, and don't bare significant human pathogens when they are dispensed from within a metal dispenser. I would be interested in seeing reports on paper towels actual bacterial/viral loads. The way paper towels are manufactured probably is pretty harsh for viruses.
Hallelujah!! I am not alone in my fears about electric hand dryers!! - read this article from Wired.
I am interested in hearing from both males, and especially from females, and their experiences regarding paper towels versus electric hand dryers.
At the very least I would prefer restrooms offer at least paper and electric options, but my preference would be banning electric dryers, entirely. And yes, I have seen the bins full of paper towels and all that, but at least those paper towels piles are not inhaled..... Dealing with paper rubbish is pretty easy, it can be incinerated.
Electric dryers are nice for warming and drying ski gloves though, so there's that - and maybe nail polish in the distaff rest room