Woman puts Petri dish under bathroom dryer, breaks the Internet

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That photo has now gone viral.

This was done to mimic hands that have been poorly washed.

The post was shared more than 550,000 times in just a few days and has many people questioning whether it is safe to use the hand dryers, which have replaced paper towels in many public restrooms. Yes, three only. DO NOT EVER dry your hands in those things again.

"This is the several strains of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria that you're swirling around your hands, and you think you're walking out with clean hands", writes Ward.

The legitimacy of Nichole's experiment and her scientific credentials are also unclear.

Those responding to Ward's post - which was shared more than 544,000 times - were shocked by what they saw.

Maybe we should all just stand there for half an hour and let our hands drip dry post-handwash instead.

One Facebook user wrote: "So freaking nasty!"

Desire'e Demerson-Reed said, "I never use them! Yes 3 only", she said.

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While Nichole has since removed Dyson from the post, the company gave a statement to ABC Nation about the controversy. All Dyson Airblade hand dryers have HEPA filters that capture particles as small as bacteria from the washroom air before it leaves the machine.

Modern hand dryers are worse than paper towels when it comes to spreading germs, according to new University of Leeds research.

While the photo may seem alarming, Jason Tetro, a Canadian microbiologist and a visiting scientist at the University of Guelph, says people shouldn't get caught up in the hype of the photo.

"I stuck the open plate in an enclosed hand dryer of a public bathroom for a total of 3 minutes".

Hand sanitizer is looking pretty good right now. "Remember, it's not the size of the colony that matters, just the number found".

"These findings are important for understanding the ways in which bacteria spread, with the potential to transmit illness and disease", Wilcox said.

Subsequent detection of Lactobacilli in the air proved that it must have come from the hands during drying.

One of the few independently funded studies on the subject, published by the Mayo Clinic in 2000, found no statistically significant hygienic difference between dryers and paper towels.

Bottom line: don't buy into the hype - there is no reason to worry about using hand dryers, Tetro says.

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