In a new report, a team of researchers from Harvard University found that the amount of paper towels used by people on the street is linked to their overall health, the amount they use per day and the number of days they leave the house.
Their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, say that while paper towels might be a simple way to remove excess waste, the research team has found they may actually have health benefits as well.
“The paper towels are often the only material people bring to the house to clean up,” lead researcher Michael B. Klein, a professor of environmental health sciences at Harvard and one of the study’s authors, told National Geographic.
“And so when they come home they’re often carrying these towels around and we know that there’s a higher level of [illness] that’s associated with towels being around.”
This study, the first to look at how the environment and people interact to contribute to the development of chronic illnesses, found that while people who use paper towels for daily laundry or house cleaning were at higher risk for the development and severity of chronic illness than those who do not use paper towel towels, the paper towels they used did not increase their risk.
In fact, the study found that people who washed their hands with paper towels during the course of the day had no higher risk of developing chronic illness.
“So even though you might think paper towels clean, the fact is that the towels were just not effective,” Klein said.
In other words, the researchers believe the paper towel was not a good way to eliminate a problem because it is often carried around by people, even though they might not realize it.
The researchers found that, for people who were not aware of their environmental and health consequences, the towels they were using may actually make them more susceptible to chronic illnesses and even death.
For instance, the team found that those who washed with paper towel daily were more likely to develop a heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
“We found that this paper towel washing might actually be harmful,” Klein continued.
“If you wash your hands with this towel, you might be putting yourself in danger of having a heart event, a stroke, or a cancer.”
The study also found that a person who used paper towels daily was also more likely than a person not to be able to clean their hands properly and to have lower levels of the biomarkers of inflammation that are linked to cancer, including the inflammatory marker TNF-alpha, which is higher in people who have heart disease and those with diabetes.
“People who wash their hands frequently with this paper towels have lower inflammatory markers, which are linked with diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease,” Klein told National Press Club.
“It’s a big red flag that this is not a natural way to wash your body.”
While the study was designed to determine whether the paper-washing process itself can actually increase your risk for chronic illness, Klein believes it may also have an impact on how you use the towels.
“I think it’s important that people understand that there are a lot of different things that can go wrong in the process of washing a towel,” he said.
“You can have different levels of bacteria, different levels or even different towels, and that might be an important distinction to make.
You can’t just wash your towel and think, ‘This is going to be perfect.'”
The research team was also interested in exploring how towels can be made to be more hygienic and more sanitary by changing the way people wash them.
“In some ways, towels are a little bit like the toilet paper that they are made from, so there are lots of different ways to do it,” Klein explained.
“For example, paper towels can come in a number of different colors, and they can come with different textures.
The towels can also come with little pieces of paper, which you can use to cut the towels into pieces that are more convenient to use.
So a towel can have all these different characteristics that we think can improve the quality of the towels, as well as their hygeneic properties.”
In a study published in 2017, Klein and his colleagues found that removing paper towels from a person’s body has an effect on the levels of some of the same inflammatory markers in the body as they did before the towel was removed.
“Paper towels are one of those things that you don’t think are going to do a lot for your health,” Klein noted.
“But it does have these inflammatory markers.
We don’t know if these markers are going on the outside of the towel or the inside of the paper, so we really don’t understand what the effects are.”
He continued, “We think we might be able in the future to figure out what it is that makes towels good for you.”
Klein and colleagues also found an association between towels’ chemical properties and their ability to remove