The paper towel is deemed to apply the finishing touch in the hand hygiene process
Washing hands in the most effective way possible has become everybody’s objective in the wake of norovirus outbreaks – and in particular the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
A BBC instructional video Coronavirus: How to wash your hands – in 20 seconds for example, displays appropriate techniques for an effective soap and water hand wash. The focus of some infection control research has now switched to another, perhaps overlooked, aspect of infection control, according to a recent report on the Medical News Today website. The drying of hands.
There are two key aspects to this, states the author of the article, Tim Newman.
- Hand washing doesn’t necessarily remove all virus from the hands
- Moist environments allow microbes to flourish.
“…any that remain attached during washing are more likely to spread to surfaces if people do not dry their hands correctly.”
Two methods were compared during the study, involving the use of a hot air dryer and paper towels.
The most important point is that BOTH methods “…significantly reduced phage contamination of hands” said the report. But there seemed to be a clear benefit with the paper towel method.
“In fact, average surface contamination following hand contact was 10 times higher after jet dryer than hand towel use.”
Contamination of clothing only seemed to occur with the hot air dryer.
A larger study will be needed to confirm these initial findings writes Newman, which were from a very small scale survey, which was carried out by Doctor Ines Moura with Duncan Ewin and Professor Mark Wilcox from the University of Leeds.
Mobile handwash units – put them wherever they’re needed!
Teal produces an incredible range of mobile sinks and portable basins for every type of hand washing situation for use by anyone who needs to wash their hands effectively, whether they’re in an office environment, temporary accommodation or out in the field on a daily basis. Optional paper towel holders are available for units across the range.
There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks with pre-heated hot water.