People Feel Unsafe Using Public Restrooms with Air Dryers, New Study Finds
Expectations for public spaces and demands for safe hygiene solutions are higher than ever before. According to a study from Tork on the impact of COVID-19 on people's perception of public hygiene, 86% believe keeping a high hygiene standard in public restrooms is critical to public safety.
The increased concern for hygiene in public restrooms is expressed in people's changing preferences for hand drying solutions. According to the study, 70% of people wish more facilities offered paper hand towels as an alternative to air dryers. The study also shows that 33% of people now have an increased preference for paper hand towels than before COVID-19, with the most common reasons being that paper hand towels are perceived as more hygienic (71%), they dry hands more quickly (53%), and do not spread virus and bacteria in the air (43%).
The cost of not offering paper hand towels can be high for facilities. More than 40% surveyed say they are less likely to visit places that do not offer paper hand towels as a hand drying alternative, and 33% say they feel unsafe entering a restroom with air dryers.
"The pandemic has shown that all businesses need to adapt to a new hygiene standard," said
For hygiene-critical areas, such as food processing plants and hospitals, paper hand towels have long been the only acceptable hand drying solution.* Unlike paper hand towels, air dryers produce more airborne droplets,** which increase the risk of bacteria spread in the environment. The friction from drying hands with paper towels helps remove more bacteria than other drying options.***
Because of COVID-19, more public areas will be scrutinized by visitors that demand increased hygiene standards are applied everywhere, with 86% saying they expect public restrooms to provide a safe hygiene environment to a higher extent now than before the outbreak.
"The study suggests that people now view all public spaces as "hygiene critical," as a result of the global pandemic. Providing solutions that make people feel safe when visiting public spaces must be a top priority for facility managers that want to re-attract guests. The cost of not using the most hygienic option is simply too high," said Cajiga.
For more information about making the safer choice and switching to Tork paper hand towels, visit https://www.torkusa.com/saferchoice.
**Source: Margas E. et al, J Applied Microbiol, 2013
***Source: Todd, J Food Prot, 2010
About the survey
The survey was conducted by United Minds in cooperation with CINT using web-panels. Data was collected between
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The Tork brand offers professional hygiene products and services to customers worldwide ranging from restaurants and healthcare facilities to offices, schools and industries. Our products include dispensers, paper towels, toilet tissue, soap, napkins, wipers, but also software solutions for data-driven cleaning. Through expertise in hygiene, functional design and sustainability, Tork has become a market leader that supports customers to think ahead so they're always ready for business. Tork is a global brand of
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