In June, the Mayo Clinic published a comprehensive study of every known hand-washing study done since 1970. The authors concluded that drying skin is essential to staving off bacteria, and that paper towels are superior to driers: They’re more efficient, they don’t spatter germs, they won’t dry out hands and most people prefer them. Dr. Thompson’s study was one of the dozen samples reviewed, and he concurs with the recent findings.
There are a number of problems with the whole handwashing thing to begin with. Unless the faucet is an auto-on one, you have to touch the handle to turn it off, thus potentially contaminating the hands you’ve just washed. Ditto manual towel dispensers. I suppose the best-designed bathroom facility would be one with automatic faucets, automatic soap dispensers, auto-dispensing towels, and no door or a push-open door. OTOH, when one is out in the field in the cold, boy, those blowers sure are nice. . .
What’s the difference between chemists and biologists? Chemists wash their hands before, biologists after.