Think twice about using hand dryers – they spread bacteria from toilets onto you

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Washing your grubby mitts is one of the best ways to cut your chances of getting sick and spreading harmful germs to others, but a new study may make you think twice before you use air hand dryers in public restrooms.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine found the dryers may suck in bacteria from flushing toilets and spread it onto your hands.

The study shows bathrooms without hand dryers had just six pathogens compared to 254 in bathrooms with hand dryers.

University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Chuck Gerba says the study hints that places like healthcare facilities may just want to ditch the dryers and turn to trusty towels. He says most of, if not all, public health facilities in Tucson only use paper towels.

That's the best way to do it, you're not blowing air around the facility and it's effective.

For those at home who are looking for ways to keep their hands clean, Dr. Gerba says hand sanitizer is just as effective.

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