NSF International announced a new protocol that provides for evaluation and testing of commercial hand dryers to certify that they dry hands hygienically. This is important as a recent consumer study found that more than 90% of restroom users try to avoid making contact with surfaces in a public restroom, and nearly six out of ten respondents prefer to use paper towels instead of conventional electric heated dryers. The two main reasons given for avoiding conventional hand dryers were that they take too long (69%), and they don’t dry their hands properly (49%).
NSF Protocol P335: Hygienic Commercial Hand Dryers establishes health and sanitation requirements for hygienic hand dryers. This includes requiring hand dryers to dry hands completely within 15 seconds using air filtered with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, thereby removing 99.9% or more of airborne bacteria. Additional requirements include hands-free operation, water disinfection, resistance to burns, product cleanability, and noise levels. Hygienic hand dryers that meet all protocol requirements will bear the NSF Mark. UK-based Dyson, Ltd. is the first company to achieve certification to NSF Protocol P335 for its Dyson Airblade hand dryer.