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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Question

I’m looking for information on paper towels vs. air drying systems for drying hands. What does the public prefer and any other stats or information. We are considering stopping the use of paper towels completely.


Answer

The place to start your research is the Internet. Type “paper towels vs. air drying systems” into Google and start reading. The first link I came across was www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/lca_handdryer_papertowels.php which discusses the factors under consideration such as energy consumption, resource depletion, and global warming burden, as well as giving you a link to the study itself. Just keep in mind the source of any study you may find.

Read on and more will links will appear. I enjoyed the discussion at www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2721/whats-better-for-the-environment-electric-hand-dryers-or-paper-towels.

Observation shows people impatient with the slowness of the hand dryer, but it also shows folks pulling out eight multi-fold towels to do what one would do just fine. We have all seen beach towel sized lengths cranked off a roll dispenser by someone anxious to dry two small hands.

While I personally like the electric dryer to avoid the possible waste, you can’t use one to open a rest room door with a soiled handle. What is one to do?

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com