Do Hand Dryers Hurt Kids’ Hearing? This 13-Year-Old Studied It

July 2, 2019

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Nora Keegan, a 13-year old teenager, has found that some hand dryers could hurt children's hearing. Hand dryers are typically installed at a height that is much closer to children's ears, and some of them clock decibel levels as high as 120dBA. Keegan's work was recently published in the official journal of the Canadian Paediatric Society. Keegan's work started as an entry in a science fair. She won bronze initially, but walked away with a gold medal a year later after more research. Keegan has also developed a filter meant to dampen noise for children. Dyson, one of the manufacturers of hand dryers that Keegan studied, praised her work and invited her to come see some of their quieter dryers. After all this, Keegan says she has "learned that if you see something that you question, you should go for it and don’t stop.”