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Letters: Hand Dryers

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Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about hand dryers.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


I'm Robert Siegel. And it's time now for your letters.


SIEGEL: Earlier this week, we told you about a company - Excel - that has revolutionized the hand dryer industry. It created the Xcelerator, which along with cutting costs also cut drying time by more than half. But Dennis Gagnon, Excel's president, says it was a tough sell at first.

DENNIS GAGNON: Literally, we had to coax people out of the aisles - come try our hand dryer. I hate hand dryers. What do I want to try your stupid hand dryer for? So we'd get them up to the Xcelerator and they'd put their hands under, and you could see the expression in their face. There was a real wow factor to it. It's like, oh, this works.

SIEGEL: Well, some of you are unconvinced. Candace Taylor(ph) of Lakewood, Colorado, writes of the Xcelerator: It sounds like a jet engine and in the confines of a bathroom, which is usually nothing but hard surfaces, it is deafening. I use the paper towels.

CORNISH: Ben Lauer(ph) of Lawrenceville, Georgia, is in the paper camp, too. His reason? You can't open the door with a hand dryer. He writes: Until we can overcome this great chasm in hand-washing, give me paper towels, or give me a restroom door that I can exit without having to use my hands.

SIEGEL: Lastly, Fred Rosenberg(ph) of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, concedes that hand dryers are the greener choice. He writes: I'll give them credit for saving energy since every time I see one, I dry my hands on my pants.

CORNISH: Thanks for your letters, and please keep them coming. Just go to, and click on Contact Us.

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