Hygiene, cost, planet: Why too many washrooms aren’t delivering against all three

Hygiene, cost, planet: Why too many washrooms aren’t delivering against all three

Attributed to Dyson

The past few years have put an unprecedented spotlight on hygiene across the globe, especially in shared spaces. It would be easy enough to believe that washroom management therefore focuses on hygiene and hygiene alone at the top of its priority list, but in reality it needs to be joined by two other key concerns in today’s climate.

Yes, washroom management must meet the public’s demand for high hygiene standards, and that should be alongside the building’s need for cost efficiency against spiralling costs, and the need to transition to a lower carbon future – something important to both sides. The hand drying process is a great example of why these three considerations are so important to get right, and how traditional options are often not delivering what’s required in these areas.

The work that goes into Global Handwashing Day is evidence enough for the importance of effective hand washing, but much less is talked about the important role hand drying plays in this process: damp hands can transfer up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands, while wiping hands on clothes can add bacteria to the washed hands, if the clothes are not clean. But warm air dryers that are often used can come with hygiene concerns, using unfiltered air to dry hands and requiring activation through a physical button. Those same warm air dryers are also often guilty of high energy consumption – an unwelcome contribution to a business’ carbon footprint and expenses.

Paper towels are a common alternative to conventional warm air dryers. While they tick the hygiene box for washroom management, this option negatively impacts carbon footprint – creating and transporting paper towels can be a very resource-intensive process. And this is all to serve a public that’s becoming increasingly aware of environmental problems: 75% say they are concerned about the common use of disposable and single use consumables.

Whilst warm hand drying options might compromise hygiene, cost or the planet – or more than one of these factors - it's important that future-led technologies place low carbon emissions, cleanliness and cost efficiency at the forefront of their design. Dyson Airblade™ technology addresses these key hygiene sustainability issues by applying touch-free design and using HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters that effectively capture potentially harmful airborne particles; 3 and have been found to emit up to 86% less CO24 whilst using only a seventh of the energy compared to warm air dryers. And it emits up to less 88% of carbon compared to paper towels.

In 2022 and leading into the future, hygiene, cost and carbon footprint are all important. Both for its organisation and its users, washroom management shouldn’t fail in one department, especially when more advanced solutions benefitting all three are already available.

Find out more here: https://www.dyson.co.uk/commercial/hand-dryers

Sources
1. Epidemiology & Infection, Residual moisture determines the level of touch-contact-associated bacterial transfer following hand washing, December 1997
2. Survey conducted in UK in July 2021 with 2,000 respondents, aged 18 years-old or above. This is part of a global survey done across 20 countries comprising of 15,100 respondents in total.

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