Dyson is trying to trace a California health worker who claims to have grown fungus from air that had been produced by a washroom hand dryer.
Nichole Ward claims the fungus grew within a few days of placing a Petri dish into the hand dryer of a public toilet for three minutes. Her post about the experiment went viral with nearly 500,000 people sharing the results.
Ward, a clinical co-ordinator for a home care firm, claims the fungus grew within days of placing a Petri dish into the hand-drier of a public toilet for three minutes.
Claiming to have some knowledge of microbiology, she posted a picture of her experiment and announced: “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. #nomorehanddryers #outlaw #spreadthenews.”
The results captured the imagination of the online Facebook audience and it has been shared nearly 500,000 times. Airblade manufacturer Dyson is now making a bid to contact Ward about her findings but has so far drawn a blank.
A Dyson source said they were “keen to engage” and are approaching the research with an open mind. However, they believe that the post contained too little information to support its conclusions.
According to a spokesperson: “If the Petri dish was simply placed inside the aperture of a hand dryer and left there for three minutes as the wording suggests, then what has effectively happened is sampling of the washroom air and similar results would be expected if the plate was left out in the open anywhere else in the washroom for three minutes.”
Ward later altered her Facebook page to say: “This post is simply for awareness, not to instill fear.”