Sanitary condition of electrical hand dryers in toilets of shopping centres in Kraków
More details
Hide details
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, University of Agriculture in Kraków, Poland. Head of the Department of Microbiology: Prof. PhD Eng. M.J. Chmiel; Rector of the University of Agriculture: Prof. W. Sady
Anna Lenart-Boroń   

Department of Microbiology University of Agriculture in Kraków Mickiewicza ave 24/28 phone no.: 126624095
Med Srod. 2015;18(2):32–38
Shopping habits have changed over the past several years and consumers choose shopping centres, where they can spend time and visit restaurants. People usually wash hands before meals, but toilets in shopping centres are visited by hundreds of users every day which makes their cleanliness questionable. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the sanitary condition of electrical hand dryers in toilets of the selected shopping centres in Kraków.

Material and Methods:
Air was sampled at the outlet of electrical hand dryers and surface swabs of hand dryers were taken in toilets of five shopping centres. Air sampling was conducted using the MAS-100 impactor. The number of mesophilic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, staphylococci and Escherichia coli was determined. The results of air analyses were compared with the limits provided by the Polish Standards on air quality.

The number of microorganisms varied between the studied centres. In terms of mesophilic bacteria and fungi the air was unpolluted. The concentration of actinomycetes however significantly exceeded the limits set by the Polish Standards. Numerous Escherichia coli were found both in the air and in swabs in one of the centres. However the number of E. coli and staphylococci did not exceed the minimum infective dose.

The studies showed high concentrations of airborne actinomycetes and staphylococci. Also the presence of E. coli in the air and swabs allows the conclusion that legal regulations for concentrations of airborne microorganisms are necessary to make people aware of this problem. However, it was found that using electrical hand dryers does not have impact on human health.

The study was financed by the statutory measures of the Department of Microbiology, University of Agriculture in Kraków. DS 3102/KM.
Hanlon G., Hodges N.A.: Essential Microbiology for Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken 2012: 240.
Huang C., Ma W., Stack S.: The hygienic efficacy of different hand-drying methods: a review of evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 87: 791-798.
Redway K., Fawdar S.: A comparative study of three different hand drying methods: paper towel, warm air dryer, jet air dryer. European Tissue Symposium (ETS), Brussels 2008: 35.
Polska Norma, PN-89/Z-04/04111/02. Ochrona czystości powietrza. Badania mikrobiologiczne. Oznaczenie liczby bakterii w powietrzu atmosferycznym (imisja) przy pobieraniu próbek metodą aspiracyjną i sedymentacyjną.
Polska Norma, PN-89/Z-04/04111/03. Ochrona czystości powietrza. Badania mikrobiologiczne. Oznaczenie liczby grzybów mikroskopowych w powietrzu atmosferycznym (imisja) przy pobieraniu próbek metodą aspiracyjną i sedymentacyjną.
Operator’s Manual MAS-100TM professional Microbial Air Monitoring System for the Microbiological Testing of Air. Brussels, Belgium.
Krzysztofik B., Ossowska-Cypryk K.: Ćwiczenia laboratoryjne z mikrobiologii powietrza. Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Warszawskiej, Warszawa 1997: 207.
Gołofit-Szymczak M., Skowroń J.: Microbiological contaminants in office buildings. Bezpieczeństwo Pracy 2005; 3: 29-31.
Möritz M., Peters H., Nipko B., Rüden H.: Capability of air filters to retain airborne bacteria and molds in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2001; 203: 401-409.
Grzyb J., Frączek K.:. Bioaerosol-forming actinomycetes at the selected sites of Kraków. Ecol Chem Eng A 2013; 20(4-5): 443-452.
Leggett H.C., Cornwallis C.K., West S.A.: Mechanisms of pathogenesis, infective dose and virulence in human parasites. Plos Pathog 2012; 8(2): 1-20.
Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland No. 81, item 716. Regulation of the Minister of Health of 22 April 2005 on harmful biological agents in the workplace and health protection of workers occupationally exposed to these agents.
Budzińska K., Jurek A., Szejniuk B. et al.: Microbiological air pollution in the area of municipal sewage treatment plant. Rocznik Ochrona Środowiska. Środkowo-Pomorskie Towarzystwo Naukowe Ochrony Środowiska 2011; 13: 1543-1558.
Fernstrom A., Goldblatt M.: Aerobiology and its role in the transmission of infectious diseases. J Pathog. 2013; doi:10.1155/2013/493960.
Kothary M. H., Babu U.S.: Infective dose of foodborne pathogens in volunteers: a review. J Food Saf 2007; 21(1): 46-68.
Barker J., Jones M.V.: The potential spread of infection caused by aerosol contamination of surfaces after flushing a domestic toilet. J Appl Microbiol 2005; 99(2): 339-347.