Prefer hand dryers to paper towels? We have some bad news.
A new study published this month by Applied and Environmental Microbiology indicates that the powerful jet of warm air that comes out of the dryer isn't just drying your hands. It is also blowing feces particles all over them.
The research was conducted on 36 bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Plates exposed to air coming from the hand dryers had as many as 60 bacteria colonies on them when tested.
The air coming from the dryers isn't the problem, though, according to the researchers. It's all the contaminated bathroom air they are blowing around.
“The more air ya move? The more bacteria stick,” study author Peter Setlow told Business Insider. “And there are a lot of bacteria in bathrooms.”
Much of that bacteria is probably coming from inside the toilets, which microbiology experts have said can spray germs into the air if the lids aren't closed when they are flushed.
Moral of the story: Close the toilet lid, and consider paper towels.