PCC Restrooms: Have they really changed?

By Jesse Maes|April 11, 2014Student Writing|

It’s been a little under a year now since The Bridge last covered the hot debate about blow-dryers in the PCC public restrooms. The controversy continues, but it seems that the PCC restroom policy has remained the same. Hand dryers proven to host illness-inducing bacteria are still in use, and many students continue to dry their hands with the machines. 

The PCC microbiology department found “colonies of bacteria that originate in the human gut” to reside in the hand dryers, yet they still blow away. The reasons that PCC insists the dryers are safe is a subject of disagreement in the student circles, as well as in the leadership of this college.  One thing that has changed a bit is that the dryers in the two new buildings at SE Center also appear to have ultraviolet light bulbs installed in them. Ultraviolet light does kill bacteria, if the exposure is intense and long enough. It can also cause skin burns if the exposure is too intense or long.  

The primary incentive to removing paper towels and replacing them with dryers has been the financial cost and ecological effects. Using paper is synonymous with cutting down vast amounts of trees and forestry, but does this justify risking the health of thousands of students? The waste products of paper towels are pretty bad, but most of it can be recycled. Which way is better? Is there a better way?

The comment threads under this article seem to be coming from both camps, so why not write about it?

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