Many of us cringe at the possibility that we could have to use a public restroom while we are out and about. Just the thought of sitting on a toilet seat that is not in our own home is enough to turn our stomach in most cases. After all, we never knew who was sitting there before us and in many cases, people don’t have the best aim.
If you have a fear of germs that may exist in a public bathroom, you do actually have a reason to fear in the first place. Many studies have shown that bathrooms are absolutely full of germs and this not only includes directly with the toilet seat, there is also a problem with toilet spray as well. This is an issue that takes place when somebody flushes the toilet and the toilet water goes airborne.
The problem with toilet spray has been noted in a number of well-known journals and it can be a serious health risk, leading to the possibility of transference of infections. When the toilet flushes after using it or even when somebody turns on the sink to wash their hands, there are tiny water droplets that go airborne. That is why many people have adopted what is known as a “flush and rush” policy when it comes to using a public restroom. As it turns out, this is not the only reason why you should fear using a public restroom, a new study shows something that is quite alarming.
This goes beyond the transference of germs that occurs when we touch something with our hands or when water becomes airborne. As a matter of fact, it is quite disgusting just to think about it.
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“You get an aerosol production when you flush a toilet, sort of like a toilet sneeze … it looks like te 4th of July with rockets going off from inside the toilet,” Gerber said.
After the flush, the spray ends up landing on any nearby surface and this includes something that many of us may have not thought of before, the toilet paper dispenser. According to research, there are 150 times more bacteria on the toilet tissue dispensers that on the seats themselves. Toilet seats typically contain a type of bacteria that is on the skin of everyone.
According to a published study in the US national Library of medicine, 19 different bacterial groups were found on the surfaces of public restrooms. One of those bacterium is Lactobacillaceae, which is typically found in the human gut. It is commonly found on the toilet handle and stall knob and is likely transferred after somebody uses the bathroom and before they wash their hands.
If you are looking to stay away from germs, avoid the floor, the toilet handle, sink traps, paper towel dispensers and the lids of sanitary napkin disposal bins. These are the areas that routinely test higher for bacteria than the toilet seat.
Of course, it is always a good idea to wash your hands properly because that will lower your risk of illness from any bacteria that you did pick up.
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