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New Study On Hand Drying Highlights Hygiene Advantages Of Cotton And Paper Towels


A new comparative study of the University of Helsinki commissioned by the European Textile Services Association (ETSA), proved that cotton and paper towels eliminate more bacteria from hands than air dryers in the drying procedure. Furthermore, the highest number of bacteria in the air was found within a range of 1m from the air drying systems.


Hand washing is important for the prevention of infections. Since the transmission of bacteria is more likely to occur from wet skin than dry skin, the proper drying of hands plays a signifi cant role in hygiene; thus, the right drying device can help remove bacteria from hands and prevent cross-contamination in the washroom.


The objective of the study was to compare the hygienic result of four different hand drying methods: cotton hand towels, disposable paper towels, an automatic warm air dryer and a jet air dryer. During the tests, both cotton and paper towels showed a considerable reduction of bacteria through the mechanical process of rubbing the hands alone: in other words, a 4.41 log reduction was observed, higher than the minimum requirement of 3 in the European


standard EN 1499 (2013) 2 issued for hygienic hand-washing, which was taken as a basis for measuring the reduction of bacteria during the drying process.


The jet air and warm air dryers revealed a log reduction of 2.48 and 1.79 respectively, which is below the minimum requirement of the standard. Therefore, even without the use of soap, the mechanical rubbing action when drying with cotton or paper removes more bacteria than the minimum requirement of standard EN 1499.


Contamination Prevention Tests of the cross-contaminating effect of the four dryers and dispensers revealed that the air contamination is highest within a 1m range of the device. The highest number of bacteria (94), which included E-coli, was found in the air 1m from the jet air dryer, while there were 27 bacteria found within 1m of the warm air dryer. The level of air contamination near the paper and cotton dispensers on the other hand, was quasi non-existent.


When testing the contamination of the four drying devices, the lowest number of bacteria was found on the cotton dispenser, followed by the


City of Toronto To Require CIMS/CIMS-GB Certification


ISSA has announced that the City of Toronto Custodial Services- Facilities Operations in Canada, has mandated that all future outside service providers will be required to be certifi ed under ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS), and CIMS-Green Building (GB) programme.


Toronto’s Custodial Services- Facilities Operations went through the internal certifi cation processes in 2013, and obtained CIMS and CIMS-GB Certifi cation with honours.


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Having witnessed the value of certifi cation, the City of Toronto issued the prerequisite for all future requests for proposals.


CIMS certification brings benchmarking and validation to operations and to the service provider selection process. According to Toronto Manager of Custodial Services-Facilities Operations, Lindsay Bauckham, she said: “CIMS and CIMS-GB offers internationally recognized metrics that the city can use as


a benchmark for its own systems and processes.”


Across the country, The City of Edmonton also has begun integrating CIMS into its operations. Robert Kuziw, with Edmonton project management and maintenance services, commented: “This will establish a recognized management standard and certifi cation programme relevant to our industry that is structured to deliver consistent, quality services.”


WORLD NEWS | 23


warm air dryer and then the paper dispenser. The highest number of bacteria was found on the jet air dryer, with a high concentration of E.coli in the bottom of the device.


Methodology Before examining the hygiene effi ciency of the drying methods, the hands of the 20 volunteers were contaminated with E.coli bacteria, followed by a hand washing of fi ve to eight seconds with non-antiseptic soap which replicates everyday reality.


The products used for testing were: a paper dispenser “Easy Cut Electronic” with virgin Grite one-ply 40gr/m2


, 100% pure pulp paper; a


cotton towel dispenser “Paradise Dry Slim” with slim white hand towel, 100% cotton, 32cm portion; a warm air dryer “Dan Air Dryer”; and a jet air dryer “Dyson Airblade”.


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