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Technique to determine contamination exposure routes and the economic efficiency of folded paper-towel dispensing.

Drying the hands is the important final step in the hand-washing process. Paper towels are the most hygienic means of drying hands. In this study, potential exposure routes for hand contamination are identified and the efficiency of paper-towel dispensing was evaluated using 5 different folded paper towels using a wall-mounted dispenser. Thirty-six participants pull-tested 400 paper towels, in controlled hand-drying simulations. All events monitored and documented had the potential for hand contamination, e.g. towel jamming, towels falling onto the floor and incidental contact of paper exits. There was considerable variation in dispensing efficiency between different towel brands. Participants of a shorter height obtained a lower incidence of dispensing malfunctions using all towel products and type. The results indicated likely contamination exposure routes for each towel type. AJIC 2003;31(2)104-108.

Author: Harrison WA, Griffith CJ, Michaels B, Ayers T

Published: 01/01/2003

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: American Journal of Infection Control.