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Japan lifts electric hand dryer ban

Japan Business Federation lifts ban electric hand dryer use

Keidanren, also known as the Japan Business Federation, has lifted the ban it introduced on the use of hand dryers in toilets at offices and production sites in the country.

This comes after Keidanren concluded that the risk of them spreading Coronavirus is negligible. The lifting of the ban could expand to other industries that follow Keidanren’s guidelines, such as the restaurant sector.

The guidelines were updated for Keidanren’s more than 1400 member companies, taking into account expert opinions and experiment results, which found the risk of infection from water drops and microdroplets in the air following handwashing with hand dryers is ‘extremely low’. However, keeping the dryers clean and disinfecting them with alcohol is one of the demands made to keep them in operation.

The restrictions on the use of hand dryers were originally introduced in May 2020, and was based on discussions by a government panel made up of medical experts. An attempt to relax the rules in December was rejected by experts, despite many other countries continuing to use them throughout the pandemic.

A Keidanren official quoted: “We have confirmed that hand dryers do not spread infection. We need to take evidence-based action, rather than accepting certain views without asking questions.”

The World Health Organization advises people to wash their hands with soap and water, and dry them with paper towels or a warm air dryer.

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