Cristo Rey Stays On Leading Edge with Installation of Hand Dryers Equipped With Cold Plasma Clean® Technology

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Across the country, the Cristo Rey Network of schools provides a model of effective education. Cristo Rey offers a college preparatory education to 8,000 urban students with limited financial resources. The organization currently has 26 coed, Catholic high schools in 17 states, including locations in Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

Detroit Cristo Rey offers important educational lessons beyond the classroom. In addition to regular classes, students engage in corporate work-study opportunities, where they spend one day each week in settings such as banks, hospitals and offices. These experiences give students workplace knowledge and self-confidence not usually gained in high school. The school has received a lot of national attention because of the way it integrates real-world work experiences into its curriculum.

As part of the school’s work-study program, students’ time in corporate settings assists in paying for their education. Companies reimburse the school for the time the students spend in their organization, which is typically five days a month for each student. Traditionally, four students share one full-time job, which means attendance is extremely important. “Our ultimate goal is to enable students to gain the skills to be successful in life and the commitment to make a difference in their families, their neighborhoods and the world,” the Cristo Rey website asserts.

Mirroring Cristo Rey’s national statistics, 100 percent of Detroit graduates have been accepted to at least one college and 80 percent of its graduates are currently enrolled in college (as of December 2013). Detroit’s attendance rate stands at 97%, but, even so, school President Mike Khoury sees room for improvement. “We put a really high emphasis on attendance and want to continue to improve that,” he said.

The need for improved hygiene was one reason Khoury and Detroit Cristo Rey decided to install American Dryer’s eXtremeAir® hand dryers with Cold Plasma Clean (CPC) technology. Additionally, Khoury said the school wanted to limit “unsightly clutter” that paper towels create. As a bonus, the school was also able to save money on paper towel costs. “The real appeal of CPC is to help reduce germs*,” Khoury stated. “We hope to help kids stay in school, succeed and get into college.”

Cold plasma, or bipolar ionization, is nature’s way of cleaning the air. High levels of ionization are found throughout nature. The Cold Plasma Generator, available inside select American Dryer eXtremeAir models, uses steady-state positive and negative discharge points to split water molecules in the air into oppositely charged hydrogen and oxygen ions. These ions then break down germs such as E.coli, Staph, Influenza A, C.diff, MRSA, and Salmonella.*

Three years ago, Detroit Cristo Rey administrators started to look at ways to save money and clean up their school. The school now utilizes eleven eXtremeAir cPc dryers in eight student restrooms, one faculty restroom and two locker rooms. “The dryers really dry your hands,” Khoury added. “They’ve got some force behind them and to know the cold plasma clean technology is killing germs is a great bonus.” He said the response to the high-speed hand dryers has been “nothing but positive.”

Cold plasma technology has been successfully used to clean the air in commercial buildings since the 1930s. Schools, hospitals and other facilities use this technology to keep the air clean. More recently, cold plasma has been used in the medical industry to treat surgical incisions and in the food processing industry to break down harmful microbes. Today, the American Dryer eXtremeAir cPc hand dryer harnesses the power of cold plasma technology to kill germs*.

In addition to promoting cleanliness, the eXtremeAir hand dryers save energy and natural resources when used in place of paper towels. This is important to one of the school’s main sponsors, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), an order which believes strongly in sustainable practices. IHM recently installed solar panels and preserved several hundred acres on its own campus outside of Detroit. “Our community was inspired, through learning and prayer, to renovate our home and to renew our campus and our lives in ways that express our commitment to sustainable living,” IHM’s website states. “A sustainable way of life means that the needs of the present are met without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their own needs.” Cristo Rey shares IHM’s commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated through the installation of CPC hand dryers and the adoption of other school initiatives, including an upcoming comprehensive recycling program.

Sustainability is one way the philosophies of the Cristo Rey community and American Dryer align. The organizations also jointly recognize the importance of school hygiene, cost savings and innovation. Through their partnership, each organization remains true to these progressive commitments, and also builds on a strong reputation for community involvement. “We are making progress,” Khoury said of Detroit Cristo Rey. “Our school stands as an example of people working together to build something great.”

*Results reflect average reduction rates based on testing performed by EMSL and ATL using a modified ASTM international Standard E1153. Your results may vary. This product is not designed or intended to clean the air of the entire restroom. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease. For more information on CPC Technology, please download the white paper at EPA Establishment Number is 091022-MI-001.

American Dryer, Inc., established in 1952, offers the most comprehensive line of hand dryers made in the USA. Its hand dryers offer best-in-class performance. The new eXtremeAir cPc utilizes cold plasma technology to kill germs like E. coli and Staph. Its eXtremeAir eXt series is the most energy-efficient, high-speed hand dryer with industry-leading 500 watt power consumption. The patented design of the eXtremeAir series makes it the most compact high-speed hand dryer available. American Dryer products are sold in over 30 countries. American Dryer’s manufacturing facilities are in Livonia, Michigan. For more information, visit us at