This Disturbing Photo Will Make You Think Twice Before Using A Hand Dryer - Women's Health UK

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Public bathrooms are generally considered to be pretty disgusting—but we bet you thought the hand dryers were the least of your problems.

Well, Nichole Ward took it upon herself to perform a little experiment, as you do. She stuck a petri dish in the open plate of a hand dryer for three minutes and then took a picture of that dish a few days later. “This here is what grew in a petri dish after just a few days,” Nichole wrote. “I stuck the open plate in an enclosed hand dryer of a public bathroom for a total of 3 minutes. Yes 3 only.” Apparently that was all it took:

“DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again. This is the several strains of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria that you’re swirling around your hands and you think you’re walking out with clean hands,” she wrote. “You’re welcome.”

Nichole added that she’s not trying to scaremonger but wants people to be aware of what they’re putting on their hands.

Are Nichole’s claims overblown? Well, not really. “It was very surprising to see the amount and the variety of bacteria that grew on a petri dish,” says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. She admits it’s hard to tell from the photo exactly what’s in there, but that it looks like E.coli (which comes from faecal matter, i.e. poo) and fungi, among other things.

Wider says the photo actually does pose a “legitimate concern.” “Public bathrooms are filled with germs and it isn’t surprising that the hand dryer could spread bacteria and other germs,” she says. “Some studies have disputed the idea that hand dryers spread germs, but I think this petri dish experiment is pretty convincing.”

Hand sanitiser is looking pretty good right now.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.

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