News Analysis

Air Dryer Claims Lower Impact Than Paper Towels

Low-flow faucets have become a standard water-saving feature in public bathrooms. Unfortunately, it turns out that drying your hands can use a lot more water than washing them—anywhere from 18 to 70 liters (4.8 to 18.5 gallons) per hand-washing session, depending on the drying method—according to a life-cycle assessment (LCA) commissioned by Dyson, maker of Airblade high-speed hand dryers. The study, conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), looks at seven hand-drying methods commonly used in public bathrooms.

Published December 27, 2011