Posting in Science
A study of lid-less toilets in hospitals confirms that toilets are little volcanoes of bacteria.
A study of lid-less toilets in hospitals has revealed an uncomfortable truth that could apply to us all: Flushing the toilet with the lid up sprays a fine mist of bacteria-laden water into the air, which can settle on every surface on the bathroom, including your toothbrush.
It's a process long known to hygiene experts, and it's called aerosolization. Mythbusters did a segment on it and concluded that while toilets with lids up do spray water all over the bathroom, the risk associated with this process was negligible.
This newest study suggests that's not the case when anyone using the toilet is sick, however, as in a hospital setting. Specifically, elderly individuals carrying the bacterium C. difficile might transmit it through lidless flushes. C. difficile infections are on the rise; this might be one reason why.
Photo: Jim Fischer
More sciencey awesomeness on SmartPlanet:
- Why are Americans spending $1000 a month to sit in traffic?
- Ancient Rome had less income inequality than modern America
- Will the Supreme Court block gays from splicing DNA to create a baby?
- The survival value of ‘free’ will
- Why putting anti-depressants in our water supply is perfectly reasonable
Dec 29, 2011