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A California scientist is warning people to stay away from hand dryers in public bathrooms, and she shared a sickening photo to explain why.

Nichole Ward announced the stomach-churning results of her latest experiment on Facebook last week with a picture of a Petri dish full of bacteria and fungi. According to her post, all she did was stick the dish inside of a hand dryer for three minutes, and it was soon thriving with life.

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“Ok guys.. ready to have your mind blown?!” Ward wrote alongside the photo. “This here, [i]s what grew in a Petri dish after just a few days. I stuck the open plate in an enclosed hand dryer of a public bathroom for a total of 3 minutes. Yes 3 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. You’re welcome.”

“I’ve used it so many times but so glad I know now. From now on I just wash and scrub, and dry on my clothes or shake and air dry OUTSIDE of the ba[ñ]o,” she continued in the comments of her post. “From an outside perspective, a blow dryer makes sense. But the spores in the air of a bathroom are SERIOUS and this was obviously overlooked.”

According to reports, Ward originally indicated that she had used an enclosed Dyson hand dryer, which require the user to put his or her hands in through the top of the device while air blows from front to back. However, she later removed the reference from her post after it went viral. The company responded to her photo by saying they were “very surprised to see these results.”

“All Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers have HEPA filters that capture particles as small as bacteria from the washroom air before it leaves the machine,’ the statement went on,” the company said in a statement. “Dyson AirbladeTM hand dryers are proven hygienic by university research and are trusted by hospitals, food manufacturers and businesses worldwide.”

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Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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