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Is anything as it seems?

Posted Thursday, February 12, 2009, at 8:39 AM

When forced-air hand dryers first came out, it seems to me they were touted as being more sanitary. I can't say they were faster, or less annoying and certainly not quieter, but it did reduce overflowing trash cans and in theory seemed to be less likely to transmit disease.

Hold it! Now comes this study from the University of Westminster, London, UK. http://www.sca.com/en/Press/News-feature... "Warm air dryers increase bacteria on hands".

Now, I don't know who funded this study, but a tissue company is publishing it on their website, so a "grain of salt" needs to be added. It may be like the chemical companies subsidizing the University studies that say their products are safe.

We may need to go back to what our grandmothers told us and forget all this technology. Back before we knew better, we seemed to KNOW better. Milk is good for us, but is that before we took all the good stuff out of it and put all the "good" stuff back in it?

What is a person supposed to believe?


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I eat off the buffet when my spouse turns me loose.

I don't have to worry about a menu but I try not to exhale or sneeze near the food or utensils.

Years ago,I heard that air-drying was more sterile for dishes than using towels because you weren't wiping a moist,hot dish (that might still have some food particles) with a piece of cloth that had become moist,hot (and,perhaps,held food particles) while drying the dishes,glasses and utensils then incubated germs,attracted bugs,etc. afterward.

Some bunch of scientists tested both scenarios and figured it was six of one and a half dozen of the other.

Plain soap and warm water was germicidal and a little contamination from real life would build healthy immune systems and avoid creating resistant strains of virii,bacteria and vermin.

As for life in our ancestors' day,I've heard that marijuana,the coca plant,etc. were more benign back when they were legal because substances within the plants offset the damage they did and helped ward off addiction.

When they were taken over by the criminal element,the destructive aspects were enhanced and the healthy traits began to disappear.

We've gained a lot from our progress since the old days but,maybe,we could combine the best of the old and the new and have breastfeeding,organic gardens,family values,etc. along with advanced technologies,a raised consciousness and greater opportunities.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Feb 13, 2009, at 11:35 AM

I can only imagine all many germs are on those menus and the trays. I order first then go wash my hands.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Fri, Feb 13, 2009, at 10:02 AM

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one to wash my hands after I order my food.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Feb 13, 2009, at 12:48 AM

My wife doesn't let me out except for our garden meeting.

Like your blog name, by the way.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 5:57 PM

John Tesh, who used to be here on Nashville TV, as well as a musician has a radio show where he discusses some of his concerns about cleanliness, etc. He pointed out that we should order BEFORE we wash our hands because the menus are great transmitters of bugs.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 11:05 AM

ha my teen washs his hands every time we go out to eat and observes how many people don't in fast food and regular restaraunts.

He is a freak about microbes. I started watching and observing how many people actually do wash their hands after the rest room or before eating.. maybe 1 in 20.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 10:46 AM

Can I join you in the study? I sure could use the monetary stimulus right about now.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 10:45 AM

Dr. Ingrid seems unconvinced either way. A personal thought is that paper or clean cloth towels don't remove any more pathogens, they just don't add them.

I don't believe that air dryers get hot enough to kill pathogens that are 'inhaled' by them, so they harbor them until someone uses it again. Maybe they grow in the warm, moist environment of a washroom. I wonder if they are on some sort of cleaning & maintenance program.

My hotel in Montreal a few weeks ago was probably trying to kill pathogens with their water temp. If you did not check it carefully, it was painful. I should have tried brewing tea straight from the tap.

Air dryers obviously save on paper, but I do not know if the trade-off in energy and fiber is worth it, since you have to usually trigger them twice. There is probably someone who got paid $100,000 to figure this out, but I do not know where to look.

If it hasn't been studied, I would consider doing the study for a meager grant. How about $250,000? We could call it a stimulus package. It would stimulate me and I would spread it ALL around, to my creditors.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 10:43 AM

Steve,

You sure got my curiosity up on this one. It seemed to me that logically the heat would kill the bugs, but also if you wash your hand properly that' what effectively removes the bugs. I did just a quick internet search and a Dr. Ingrid Koo does a blog on About.com and also blogged on this issue. The link is as follows: http://infectiousdiseases.about.com/b/20....

Personally I just wish people would actually WASH their hands after using the restroom. Hint - running your fingers under the water for a few seconds does not consitute washing your hands. Washing hands would constitute placing both hands under the water, adding some soap and rubbing your hands together for about 30 seconds, then rinsing them off. The alcohol cleansers are also very effective except against some strands of E.Coli, another good reason for good old soap and water.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 9:50 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.