Commercial Washrooms accommodating toilet facilities provide a route for all known transmission pathways of bacteria or pathogens through exposure to air and surfaces. So, what is the risk of acquiring a pathogen from the use of public toilets? Bathroom design in particular, has long been influenced by infectious disease. This isn’t a linear narrative with clear causation, but rather a convergence of advancements in science, infrastructure, plumbing, sanitation and design trends. The modern bathroom developed alongside outbreaks of tuberculosis, cholera and influenza; its standard fixtures, wallcoverings, floorings, and finishes were implemented, in part, to promote health and hygiene in the home at a time of widespread public health concerns.
providing hand drying facilities such as an electric air dryer or paper towel dispenser, consideration should be given to the type of premises. Some points to consider prior to selection relate to vandalism, removal, disposal, storage, acoustics and cost. However, it is important to note that both methods of drying have their own benefits and there are certain environments where one may be more suitable than another.
The debate between hand dryers and paper towels has been going on since the advent of modern sanitation technologies. Rather than condemn one or the other, the best approach towards making a decision around sanitary products is to familiarize oneself with the relevant areas of consideration.
Whether a washroom is intended for high or low traffic, usage must also be considered when choosing a suitable hand drying method. High traffic washrooms, such as in airports or shopping centers, where a constant stream of traffic is expected, require regular maintenance to ensure general cleanliness regardless of the hand drying option selected. Installing paper towel dispensers requires replenishment of paper towels as well as waste disposal servicing throughout the day. This accumulates extra cost and is significantly more expensive than hand dryers. Installing hand dryers requires general maintenance as part of a regular cleaning regime, but to a much lesser extent, as there is nothing to replenish or dispose of. The running costs are mostly restricted to the price of electricity and the model selected. Low traffic washrooms, on the other hand, are not under the same demanding conditions from a maintenance or hygiene perspective. The same considerations as with high traffic washrooms still apply, but with lower frequency. Similarly, the relationship between a washroom’s use and the number of drying facilities that may be installed within is directly related to the space available. Hand dryers generally protrude out from the wall and are limited to only being able to serve one person at a time. In a smaller space that caters for medium to high traffic requirements, this can be a drawback. Comparatively, a paper towel dispenser can be utilied by multiple people at once and if protrusion from the wall is an issue, there are countless recessed options available.