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Restroom Hand Dryers are a Public Health Hazard

Victor Yocco, PhD


You heard it here first, Big Blower has teamed up with Big Healthcare to create a scheme being perpetuated across the world, right under, and inside of, our noses. The disappearance of paper towels in favor of forced air hand dryers in public restrooms.

We’ve all seen them and most likely we’ve all used them. Whether it’s a little hummer inside a filth covered gas station restroom that caresses your hands with a warm breeze or the “super efficient” leaf blowers on steroids you’ll find at any given Starbucks that blow the skin off the palms of your hands and leaves young children crying in fear as they run from the monster on the wall, all public restroom hand blowers have one thing in common: they are coating you and everyone else in the restroom in a fine layer of heated shit-particle filled air.

I’m appalled at the public disinformation campaign that has coincided with the seemingly ubiquitous nature of these hand blowers. You’ll often see a plaque posted next to the dryer, likely provided by the hand drying industry, boasting the number of trees being saved or the amount of paper waste being reduced because the fine establishment you are frequenting has chosen to go with power hand drying. 

Bullshit! Show me the numbers? Have you accounted for the additional waste using power hand blowers creates? The energy it takes to produce the antibiotic eye drops you’ll need to cure the pink eye you get from poop flecks caking on your iris? Or The carbon footprint of the ambulance that will take you to the hospital, then the hearse that will pick you up from the hospital, and the fuel for the crematorium furnace as your body is reduced to ashes after your inevitable death from hand-dryer afflicted cholera? Huh? Tell me. Have you factored that into your numbers?

And since when did big companies start caring about the environment?  My guess is they’ve done the math on what it costs to pay an employee to constantly clean up the paper towel waste and restock paper towels and realized they come out massively on top in savings if they just prop up a hand dryer that may or may not work at all, depending on the day and the sensitivity of the sensor if it’s  the hands-free type. That plaque should contain an apology and directions to the nearest hospital.

A good paper towel is possibly humanity’s most effective invention. Use a few to soak up the water on your hands, absorb a spill, clean salsa off your chin, wipe away tears, and much more. Once you are done with that paper towel you throw it away, germs tightly locked in the absorbent paper, never to bother you or another human again. The thoughtless automation of hand drying is a risk to the future of our species. Please join me in silent protest against forced air hand dryers after you read this piece.

*This article was not sponsored by the paper towel industry, however we would proudly accept their sponsorship if offered


If you enjoyed today’s moot, follow Victor on Twitter. If you are feeling generous, consider donating to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Victor’s charity of choice.

*For each moot, we generate a cover image using  DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Restroom Hand Dryers are a Public Health Hazards' in the style of James Ensor, Victor Yocco's artist of choice.*

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DALL·E 2023-03-15 19.06.04 - a painting of a person blow drying their hands in a restroom

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