A 13-year-old girl recently published her research involving the loudness of hand dryers in public restrooms in the journal of the Canada Pediatric Society, according to a New York Times article.
Nora Keegan became concerned that the dryers were harmful to children’s hearing after she noticed others covering their ears while the dryers were running. She became frustrated by the hand dryer companies’ lack of specificity with regard to the noise estimates listed for their devices—were they testing sound levels for adults or children? So, in order to obtain more accurate readings, she visited hundreds of public restrooms in Calgary with a decibel meter, ruler, and measuring tape, the NY Times reports.

According to the article, the loudest of the dryers tested exceeded 100 dBA, a level at which hearing loss can occur after 15 minutes, a statistic from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) that was quoted by the NY Times. 

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Original Paper: Keegan NL. Children who say hand dryers ‘hurt my ears’ are correct: A real-world study examining the loudness of automated hand dryers in public places. Paediatrics & Child Health. 2019; pxz046. DOI: doi.org/10.1093/pch/pxz046

Source: NY Times, Paediatrics & Child Health