The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is circulating this press release as part of its regular news update.
The release quotes “a recent study by University of Westminster in London” showing that warm air hand dryers cause an average 254 percent increase in the number of bacteria on the palms of people’s hands as well as contaminating the surrounding area.
Further, “the study also showed that on average, paper towels reduce bacteria on the hands by 77 percent” and that “paper towels are the safest method of drying your hands after washing”.
Now call me a grumpy old cynic but when I look at a release like that, I don’t think “important science”, I think “marketing drivel”.
Sure enough, the press release is put out by SCA Hygiene Australasia. The release doesn’t mention what is clearly evident from their website, that they make a quid from flogging paper towels and other such products.
Why on earth is a sensible health organisation like the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association lending its good name to such marketing?
If they want to promote better hygiene, let’s see it driven by rigorous evidence rather than a director of sales and marketing.
It will be interesting to see if the release gets picked up by the media; unfortunately I won’t be surprised if it does.