Study Finds Bacteria In Unused Paper Towels

Public washroom sign( — Grabbing a paper towel in a public restroom may leave more on your hands than you bargained for.

Researchers say they’ve found bacteria, including some that are known to make people sick, in unused paper towels. They also found that those bacteria could be transferred to hands after washing.

The study is published in the American Journal of Infection Control. It did not find any illnesses connected to paper towel use.

Experts say the findings are probably most important for people in hospital isolation units and those with weakened immune function who need to be extra cautious about contact with germs.

Germs Lurk in Paper Towels

Researchers at Laval University in Canada tested six brands of commercial paper towels — the kind doled out in many public bathrooms.

They found bacteria in all of them, but the towels made from recycled fibers were the most heavily contaminated.