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Paper Towels Much More Hygienic than Alternatives

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There’s a war going on for your wet hands, and it’s heating up. Companies such as Dyson, Livonia, Mich., USA, makers of the Airblade, have long complained about the paper towel industry sponsoring research into the hygiene implications of different hand-drying methods. 

So it was this week, when a paper in the Journal of Applied Microbiology concluded that Airblades spread 60 times more germs than standard air dryers, and 1,300 times more than standard paper towels. 

This was scaremongering, a company spokeswoman suggested, conducted under artificial conditions. 

In 2005, a German Pulp and Paper Association-commissioned study showed that bacteria on skin was decreased 24% by wiping hands on paper towel, whereas using a standard air dryer increased the load by 117%.
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