RESEARCH PAPER
Sanitary condition of electrical hand dryers in toilets of shopping centres in Kraków
 
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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
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
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
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
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.

Results:
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.

Conclusions:
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.

FUNDING
The study was financed by the statutory measures of the Department of Microbiology, University of Agriculture in Kraków. DS 3102/KM.
 
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