Report: Hand dryers may be damaging to children's hearing

The roar of a hand-dryer is a normal thing to hear in bathrooms all across the nation but new research suggests that they may be harmful to children’s hearing. 

The research, conducted by 13-year-old Nora Keegan and published by the Canadian Pediatric Society, tested sound levels of hand dryers in 40 public restrooms from different heights and differences. Keegan found that many of the hand dryers operate louder than their manufacturers claim they do.

XLerator, Blast, and Dyson airblade models were all the loudest, exceeding 100 decibels when hands were in the airflow. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sounds louder than 85 decibels over a prolonged period may begin to damage your hearing. Anything over 120 decibels can cause immediate harm to the ears.

Children are not only more sensitive to loud noise, but have smaller ear canals and can perceive noise up to 20 decibels higher than adults.

Experts say children should limit their exposure to hand dryers, or simply play it safe and stick to paper towels.