Despite the debate between hand dryers and paper towels, there is no single correct answer as to which to specify in a project. Each method has their applications depending on what criteria you’re valuing the most. However, problems arise when either method is incorrectly specified. In areas where certain demands need to be met, such as acoustic and hygiene requirements within healthcare settings, or high traffic usage demands within airports or shopping centres, specifying the wrong product by placing too much value on other considerations (such as cost or environmental aspects) can hold consequences for the health and safety of a building’s users.

Hand drying is an imperative part of the hand washing routine, with the transmission of bacteria determined to be “more likely to occur from wet skin than from dry skin” by the Mayo Clinic’s review of evidence for hand drying efficacy. Without properly drying hands, the act of washing, even properly, can be rendered useless. In critical areas such as within the healthcare sector or in high traffic environments, where the chances of bacterial transmission are already higher, this necessity is even more paramount.

In hospitals, hygiene and acoustic considerations of hand drying methods are of key concern, over that of cost or environmental considerations. Many of the occupants of such an environment are likely already immunocompromised to an extent, either because of an existing illness or medication. Furthermore, many studies have found connections between increased noise levels and longer recovery times in patients, as well as higher stress levels and increased errors among staff. While the layout of a healthcare facility can be optimised to find a balance between location of beds and washrooms – ensuring minimal noise disturbances, whilst still being accessible – this is often a difficult criteria to meet as hospitals become more crowded. Drying methods such as paper towels or low-noise hand dryers can be specified to help address such problems.

Commercial washroom equipment giant, ASI JD MacDonald, have taken these demands into account when designing their wide range of hand drying methods. Providing both paper towel dispensers and a wide variety of hand dryers, there is an option for every washroom – even those with critical demands. For high traffic environments, paper towels or high-speed dryers such as their ‘Tri-Umph’ or ‘Turbo-Slim’ can provide fast drying options for numerous people at once. Furthermore, ASI JD MacDonald also have available an intelligent 3-in-1 combination unit, consisting of a paper towel dispenser, waste bin and high-speed hand dryer, for when both options are necessary but space is still an important consideration.

For healthcare environments, the same paper towel dispensers are readily available, and most are able to be embedded into the wall in order to maximise internal space. They also have the ‘Applause’ hand dryer, which operates at 55dB. Significantly quieter than any other hand dryer, the ‘Applause’ is designed for smaller washrooms and those in which the acoustics are an imperative factor – such as within healthcare settings.

With ASI JD MacDonald, the hygiene and acoustic demands of any space can be easily met.

For more information about ASI JD MacDonald, visit their website here.

To read more about this topic, check out their most recent whitepaper, ‘Hand dryers and paper towels: considerations for selecting the right option for your washroom’, by clicking here