Hands-free faucets much more likely carry Legionella than traditional faucets

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 6, 2011

Because hands-free faucets are touched less often, it is widely assumed such faucets carry fewer germs. However, new research by Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found that because hands-free faucets have more complicated valve systems, they are far more likely to carry Legionella bacteria, found in 50% of the hospital’s hands-free faucets, compared to just 15% in traditional faucets, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The results moved the hospital to remove hands-free faucets and replace them with traditional faucets in all patient care areas and to purchase traditional faucets for new clinical buildings set to open in 2012.