(Relaxnews)—Announced this week, researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London, found that the dryers caused discomfort for elderly dementia sufferers, affected the navigation of visually impaired people, and even forced hearing aid users to turn their devices off when entering public toilets. Also mothers reported a relunctance to use dedicated breast-feeding or baby changing provisions located near the noisy hand dryers.
The study involved a range of testing, including product acoustic testing, environmental acoustics, and noise assessment, as well as interviews with members of the public. The team found that hand dryers reached decibels 11 times louder in a public toilet than in a product-testing lab. "Manufacturers tend to test hand dryers in ultra-absorbent acoustic laboratories which is perhaps why actual sound levels are so much higher than those advertised," said study lead Dr. John Devack Drever. "With these results in mind, it is no surprise the high-speed hand dryer is increasingly perceived as an annoyance and brutally invasive within such personal and sensitive spaces."