A row of two electric hand driers mounted to a bathroom wall.

Approved EO 4 Specification: Electronic Hand Dryers

Covered Products

Wall mounted, forced-air hand dryers.



To reduce the amount of paper towels used and do so with energy efficient appliances that dry hands without increasing exposure to bacterial growth.



Purchase and disposal of paper towel waste can be a cost burden on any facility. Minimizing or reducing the use of disposable paper towels can save money as well as increase facility cleanliness. The cost of drying with paper towels can be 20 times the cost of drying with air hand dryers per dry.



ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

dB: decibels (sound rating)

Conventional Electric Hand Dryers: use low speed, heated air to dry hands.


Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization committed to public health, safety, and protection of the environment. NSF develops national standards, provides learning opportunities, and provides third-party conformity assessment services while representing the interests of all stakeholders. The primary stakeholder groups include industry, the regulatory community, and the public at large. For additional information on NSF, visit the organization website at http://www.nsf.org/.

GreenSpec® Product Guide lists over 2,200 environmentally preferable products selected by editors at BuildingGreen, LLC. The guide includes key insight on the green attributes of each product and the most critical green issues for each product category. Editors at BuildingGreen conduct their own independent research in assessing manufacturer claims, ensuring that the directory contains unbiased, quality information. GreenSpec does not charge for listings or sell ads.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.



Affected entities shall provide Electric Hand Dryers meeting the following criteria:

  • Certification by Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., with UL labels.
  • Minimum 5-year limited warranty.
  • Adherence to ADA protrusion requirements.
  • One piece, heavy duty, vandal and rust resistant cover.
  • Be manufactured by a company specializing in Electric Hand Dryers with a minimum of 5 years experience.
  • Listing in the GreenSpec® Product Guide.
  • Complete Hands-Free operation including automatic optical sensor for on/off operation.
  • Ability to dry hands in 15 seconds or less with maximum 135 degree Fair.
  • Internal air filtration.
  • Sound level of not more than 80dB.
  • Operation on a maximum 15 amp branch circuit.
  • If heated air is used, provide automatic thermostat controlled wire element heater.

Affected entities are encouraged to:

  • Replace existing conventional electric hand dryers and paper towel dispensers with efficient Electric Hand Dryers (air at high volume).
  • Specify dryers that provide unheated air.
    • This reduces reproductive rate of bacteria and protects skin from possible removal of beneficial oils that can be stripped with warm air use. (Per NSF Protocol P335)
  • Determine if the unit(s) uses 75% less energy use than Conventional Electric Hand Dryers.
  • Comply with the installation requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1.
  • Comply with manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  • Reduce the State’s carbon footprint by procuring local or regional products.
    • For projects registered with a LEED rating system, some contribution to achievement of credits may be realized in purchasing units that are manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.

Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%). 

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following in order of preference when purchasing items that come in packaging: 

  • Items that do not need packaging, or the packaging is part of the product. 
  • Items that come in reusable packaging. 
  • Items that come in bulk packaging. 
  • Items that come in innovative packaging that reduces the amount of packaging. 
  • Items that come in packaging that remains the property of the supplier and does not become the property of the end user under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws. 
  • Items that come in packaging that maximizes recycled or biodegradable (compostable) content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists that accept the material. 
  • Items that come in Packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable (compostable). Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists and will accept the material. 


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