A person goes to the toilet 5-6 times a day. Multiply by the number of family members and you will understand that the toilet in your house is one of the most popular places.
You can imagine, once it was without a lid at all. But later it was also invented — and this good of humanity must be used correctly.
And it’s not easy to keep the toilet closed — so that odors do not spread through the apartment. Scientists insist: you need to lower the lid before you press the flush button. Otherwise, the so-called «toilet train» will appear in the air.
Let’s explain on our fingers. Even if it seems to you that the toilet is clean, it is not so — on its walls, the water contains microscopic particles of feces, as well as a huge number of bacteria that can cause a number of diseases. And during flushing, an aerosol column rises into the air, which consists of water, air and these very bacteria, including E. coli. The height of this «toilet train» reaches 2 meters, and it can linger in the air for up to 6 hours, settling, including on hygiene items — soap, towels and even a toothbrush (here it is, another minus of combined bathrooms).
This plume has been known for almost half a century. But a few years ago, scientists updated this study and found out that such an outburst can play a role in the transmission of infectious diseases, in particular rotavirus and others related to the activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
«Of particular interest is the possible role of the toilet plume in the airborne transmission of norovirus, SARS and pandemic influenza,» the study says.
«Yes, modern toilets minimize such emissions,» says microbiologist Janet Hill, «but they do not exclude it. And the smallest particles can be in the air, and at a decent distance from the toilet, for several hours.»
Yes, with one flush, the emission of harmful particles will be negligible. But imagine that during the day the water was washed off 20 times. And all these bacteria have accumulated on the surfaces. This means that their concentration has increased significantly. And now it can do harm, especially if a person with salmonellosis or campylobacteriosis went to the toilet in front of you.
In general, it is better not to take risks. The easiest way to avoid the release of the plume is to lower the lid before flushing. But what to do in public toilets, where most often there are not only lids, but also just toilet seats? Simple hygiene will help out here — do not bend over the toilet when you press the button, hold your breath during flushing and immediately after the toilet wash your hands and wash your face. And at home, keep toothbrushes away from the toilet, or store them in closed containers.