New Study Reconfirms Paper Towels are Most Hygienic Method to Dry Hands After Washing


Cascades Tissue Group emphasizes that paper towels are the most hygienic choice when it comes to drying hands. A recent study conducted by the Bradford Infection Group, the University of Bradford and Dyson Limited reported that rubbing with paper towels appeared to be the best means of reducing bacterial loading on the fingertips.

These findings correlate with the results of an earlier study conducted by the University of Westminster, London. That study found that when participants used paper towels to dry their hands, the number of all types of bacteria on the hands was reduced by up to 77 percent, and that air dryers actually increased the number of most bacteria on the hands up to 254 percent more for warm air dryers and 42 percent more for jet air dryers.

In addition to examining the bacteria on users hands, the study also looked at the potential contamination of other users and the washroom environment. The study found that the jet air dryer was capable of blowing microorganisms up to six-and-a-half feet away, potentially contaminating users and the washroom. Traditional warm air dryers spread microorganisms less than one foot away, while paper towels showed no significant spread of microorganisms.

The final portion of the study looked at the number of bacteria in the machines themselves. Some of the bacteria found were potential pathogens that could cause disease (E. coli, Staphylococcus).

Based on the results of this study, the use of warm air dryers and jet dryers should be carefully considered in locations where hygiene is of great importance. These places include hospitals, clinics, schools, nurseries, care homes, kitchens and other food preparation areas.

Third-party research has recognized paper hand towels as being the best and most hygienic hand drying method for 40 years, says Cascades Tissue Group CEO Suzanne Blanchet. We find it especially telling that this new study came to the same conclusion and were proud to produce products that are both environmentally-preferable and the most hygienic available.

Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fiber. Additionally, the Cascades Tandem® No Touch dispensing system further helps reduce the incidence of pathogen cross-contamination, as damp hands never touch the dispenser. In 2010, Cascades launched the Intelligent® Cascades® Antibacterial Hand Towel in Canada, an innovative first in the paper industry. As it absorbs the water from hands, its highly soluble antibacterial ingredient is transferred from the hand towel to the skin. This simple action quickly reduces the number of pathogenic bacteria that remain on the skin.

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