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The Debate Hand Dryers vs Paper Towels

It may seem simplistic and over-dramatic but it is a reality that millions of people face everyday, what to use to dry your hands when you are in a washroom: Paper Towels Or Hand Dryer? The first argument is a solid one. Paper towels are easy, tactile and recyclable. But they are bad for the environment. They have to be milled from trees. They have to be processed with chemicals, in big factories that flush their waste into rivers that lead to reservoirs: which is where our drinking water comes from. All along the way this process is killing Mother Nature and that makes people feel bad. However, paper towels are supposed to be recyclable and biodegradable so that offsets the eco-argument right? The fact is, paper towels are not recyclable and end up in the trash. Ending up in the trash means a janitor must come by and clean them up (since people miss the trash and leave them laying around) and that involves more chemicals and time and waste once it gets into the refuse stream (What happens to trash once it leaves the dumpster). Add up the trees, the logging, transport of downed trees, pulp processing, transport to market, installation and the cost of man power to continually replace the convenient and tangible paper towel---not to mention the frequency with which this who scenario unfolds everyday) and paper towels start looking like a real nuisance.


The next argument regards the electric hand dryer. These things are noisy, clunky, almost use-less, frustrating, ugly and use ELECTRICITY. Electricity means smokestacks and fossil fuels, or worse NUCLEAR MATERIALS. These machines are made out of non-biodegradable materials like metal and plastic and rubber. Not to mention the fact that they are time-consuming to use and usually don�t work very well. Let�s face it; the electric hand dryer has nothing when it comes to the security blanket feel of a paper towel when it comes to a pair of wet hands. And they too have to be trucked in and installed (which takes more than one man) and cause mess, which needs to be cleaned up with chemicals by that same janitor guy. However, most of that reasoning is assumption. The environmental cost of making an electric hand dryer is minimal, and nothing when compared to the paper process. Sure, they use electricity, but not nearly as much as you might think. The average electric hand dryer uses less then 1800 watts of electricity (2 watts on standby).

Even if a person uses that dryer five times a day (which they won�t) over the course of a year it doesn�t add up to anything like the use of your computer or TV. Newer models such as the Xlerator or the Dyson Airblade claim to use 80% less energy because their dry times are greatly reduced. Consider that the average hand dryer lasts 10 years and compare it to the amount of paper towels needed in that time.

Pros For Using Hand Dryers

In addition, most electric hand dryers now have adjustable motors that allow for energy savings if desired. As for the manufacturing, transportation and installation issues, an electric hand dryer only needs to be made once, trucked once and installed once. Compare that with paper towels that need to be continually managed. And the new models of electric dryer are quieter, much quieter than the older models. New generation hand dryers are quiet and can dry hands in as few as 10 seconds. They are available in a range of shapes and designs to fit in with any architectural environment, whether in an office, theater, or plant. href="" >Hand dryers are sturdy appliances that incorporate antimicrobial treatment for hygiene and nonflammable material to prevent accidents. Hand dryers are built for durable use and resistance to vandalism and corrosion. Self-disinfecting hand dryers generate ozone to clean and deodorize not only the dryer housing but also the external environment in which the hand dryers are located. This is a valuable advantage as warm moist conditions in a public restroom are ideal breeding ground for bacteria.


Finally, and this is the most important point, THEY DRY YOUR HANDS QUICKLY. This was one of the major tasks undertaken by manufacturers in recent years: How to make hand dryers dry hands in a matter of seconds. The top of the line models can do it in a few seconds. 10-15 seconds compared to the former 45 seconds. They have new technology that eliminates the need to touch them thus separating hands from contact with bacteria affected surfaces. They automatically turn on and off when you wave your hands underneath. They also have anti-bacterial tech to make sure the germs in the air are cut down considerably. So just use the hand dryer and reap the benefits. They are cost effective, eco-friendly and get the job done fast and quiet.



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