Hand Dryers Are Dangerous to Ears According to 13-Year-Old Girl's Research Project

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Fabrikat, Jul 4, 2019.

    1. Fabrikat

      Fabrikat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis then volume then viral infection
      If you've ever thought hand dryers sound more like jet engines drilling into your ears, now there's some evidence to verify their potential harm to hearing. At least for children anyway, though with our compromised ears, we may speculate that they don't do adult ears much good either.

      Thanks to this 13 year old girl's research project, there's good reason to run from them and let your hands drip dry instead.

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    2. annV

      annV Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown - possibly hereditary
      “Do hand dryers hurt kids’ ears?”

      That’s the question 13-year-old Nora Keegan of Canada asked and successfully answered. Her results were sound enough to be published in the academic journal Paediatrics & Child Health.

      Nora traveled around her hometown of Calgary for more than a year investigating hand dryers in public restrooms.

      She told the Calgary Eyeopener podcast that her own experiences with hand dryers led her to start the research.

      “In Grade 4, I noticed that my ears kind of hurt after the hand dryer,” Keegan said. “And then later, at the start of Grade 5, I also noticed that my ears were hurting after I used the hand dryer. So then I decided to test it to see if they were dangerous to hearing, and it turns out they are.”

      After checking online to see if manufacturers disclosed how they measure noise estimates for the dryers and finding nothing, she decided to find out for herself.

      Nora 44 hand dryers in public restrooms for peak sound levels in relation to children’s ear canal heights. Each dryer was measured at 10 different combinations of heights and distances from the wall and with and without hands in the air stream, for a total of 20 measurements per dryer.

      Her study concluded that many hand dryers, regardless of manufacturer, operate at levels far louder than 100 decibels — the maximum allowable noise for products meant for children — making them dangerous for a child’s hearing.

      Nora’s father, David Keegan, helped her measure and research the dryers. He told USA Today it was “fun and wild” helping his daughter pursue her scientific passion.

      “It was cool to see her determination to get this out there,” David Keegan said.
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    3. Jazzer

      Jazzer Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      As soon as my tinnitus turned severe I absolutely knew that hand dryers were dangerous to people like us.
      One highly respected member on this forum pointed out that “some members actually believed that hand dryers could do damage - they can not!”

      I pointed out that my experience of discomfort was far more relevant than his guess work.
      Hand dryers operate between 85 to 110 + decibels.
      Very significant volume well capable of inflicting further damage.
      We have to become our own Tinnitus watchman in a territory where there are no specialists or gurus.

      Always judge volume dangers for yourself.
      Put a reliable decibel meter on your iPhone.

      I recommend the: SPLnFFT app.
      • Agree Agree x 4
    4. TnH

      TnH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma and Acoustic Shock
      I use the paper towels and also have hyperacusis so i don't use em' anymore
    5. linearb

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      There's a handful of brands that are just obnoxiously, obnoxiously loud. I don't think the oldschool white ones with a round silver button were nearly as bad, and I don't hate the Dyson airblade ones. XLERATOR is just insanely loud, though.

      And, of course, none of these things work as well or are any more hygienic than recyclable post-consumer paper towels.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. JohnAdams

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Just don't wash your hands. Problem solved. I am the problem solver.
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    7. Silvio Sabo

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think
      Agreed. I don't use the dryers either. If there are no paper towels I just give my hands a quick shake after washing and then just let them air dry. It's not like your hands are going to stay wet for hours. They're dry within two minutes.

      But then again even if the dryers are loud you aren't using them for two hours strait to dry your hands. And you aren't going to wash your hands 100 times per day (if you do then you need immediate psychiatric help!). 80-85 dB for 5 seconds aren't really going to hurt you. But then again, better to be safe then sorry (well... at least more sorry than we already are).

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