Children who say hand dryers ‘hurt my ears’ are correct:
A real-world study examining the loudness
of automated hand dryers in public places

Young Girl’s Study On Hand Dryers Hurting Children’s Ears Published In A Scientific Journal

(from “Romper” Magazine)  Recently, a 13-year-old girl conducted a study on hand dryers and whether they hurt kids’ ears, and the research was so thorough that it ended up being published in a legitimate scientific journal.

In a recent interview with Good Morning America, Nora revealed that she and her family utilized a ruler and measuring tape to determine the dryer’s volume, and then a professional decibel meter to determine the amount of sound that the dryer was creating. Nora explained to Good Morning Americathat she and her family would actually carry the supplies around with them wherever they went, and measure as many hand dryers as they could find. Overall, Nora estimated that she evaluated 44 hand dryers in total, according to WRAL, before comparing it to information on how many decibels are safe for a child’s ears.

“I found that hand dryers can actually be over 100 decibels, which children shouldn’t be exposed to at all,” Nora told Good Morning America. “I thought, ‘This is crazy because hand dryers are such a daily, common thing, to be hurting children’s ears.'”

Abstract of the study:

Previous research has suggested that hand dryers may operate at dangerously loud levels for adults. No research has explored whether they operate at a safe level for children’s hearing. Children’s ears are more sensitive to damage from loud sounds than adult ears. Health Canada prohibits the sale of toys with peak loudness greater than 100 dB. This study tested installed dryers in public washrooms to see if they were safe for children’s hearing.

Nora Louise Keegan

Nora Louise Keegan

Forty-four hand dryers in public washrooms were each measured for peak sound levels in a standardized fashion, including at 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 coming from the hand dryer, for a total of 20 measurements per dryer.

Xlerator units performed the loudest, with all being louder than 100 dBA at all measurements whenever hands were in the airstream. Several Dyson Airblade models were also very loud, including the single loudest measurement of 121 dBA. While some other units operated at low sound levels, many units were louder at children’s ear heights than at adult ear heights.

Many dryers operated much louder than their manufacturers claimed, usually greater than 100 dBA (the maximum allowable noise level for products/toys meant for children).

This study suggests that many hand dryers operate at levels far louder than their manufacturers claim and at levels that are clearly dangerous to children’s hearing.

The complete study can be read and downloaded at this link, on the Pediatrics and Child Health – Oxford Academic magazine

Here below you can watch a couple of videos reflecting the significant worldwide media coverage obtained by this study.