Hygienic Hand Drying Solutions – Public Health Week
This week, Excel Dryer joins virtual forces with hospitals and other health-care settings nationwide. We unite with schools and child-care centers. We stand with restaurants, municipalities, airports and other public entities in support of a cause that impacts all of humankind: the promotion of better health.
It’s National Public Health Week 2017 (April 3 – 9), and Excel Dryer is one organization that’s feeling the power. As anyone who knows us knows, if it relates to creating a healthier environment, we’ve got a hand in it. After all, our original, patented, high-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR® Hand Dryer does just that for restrooms across the globe, every day.
Prevent illness with your bare hands
Hand hygiene is to public health as, say, motor oil is to a car. (Hey, we make hand dryers, not analogies.) In both cases, the first element is critical to keeping the larger system safe and going strong. In fact, so important is the practice of proper handwashing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) likens it to a “do-it-yourself vaccine.” Now that is one powerful measure of protection (and, we might add, one impressive analogy).
A method to the measure
Washing your hands may seem like a simple, mindless task, one where you really can’t go wrong. But if you’re among the estimated 95 percent of Americans (per a 2013 “undercover” study by Michigan University researchers) whose handwashing technique is subpar, you may well be going wrong—by leaving countless germs behind.
Here’s the step-by-step method the CDC recommends for getting hands truly clean:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold). Turn off the tap and apply soap. (Editor’s note: ideally, auto sensors control the tap and/or soap dispenser.)
- Lather your hands completely. Don’t neglect backs of hands, wrists and under nails.
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Duration is key; this is where many fall short. Don’t feel like counting? Hum all of “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Rinse well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel, or air dry. (Editor’s note: ideally, the restroom’s wall bears an XLERATOR Hand Dryer.)
And now—you guessed it—we’d like to elaborate on step #5. The CDC doesn’t expressly recommend one hand-drying method over another, which indicates the key to cleaning hands lies in the washing—not the drying. This echoes the results of The Mayo Clinic’s study on the topic, which found “no statistically significant differences in the efficiency of 4 different hand-drying methods for removing bacteria from washed hands.” A later study by Laval University in Quebec City suggests that, if anything, paper towel use could actually deposit germs on hands; their research revealed 17 species of bacteria on unused, recycled paper towels. The most common type was Bacillus, which causes foodborne illness. (Find links to both studies on Excel Dryer’s Hygiene page.)
All hands on deck
Infection control standards mandate healthcare workers’ hand-hygiene practices, and we all know that food-service employees “must wash hands before returning to work.” But everyone benefits from proper handwashing. Make it both an individual and organizational effort; handwashing education has been shown to reduce the use of sick days at work, as well as rates of infectious illness within a community.
Check out the CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives website to learn more. As the site’s authors expertly assert: “Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.” Where’s that Like button when you need it?