Flushing is supposed to eliminate the pee, poop, and whatever other excretions you deposit in your toilet.
But did you know that some nasty stuff also spreads around the bathroom each time you flush?
Yes, that is true! Something called a toilet plume is the culprit!
However, while this may sound terrifying, there is something that could help prevent the spread of urine, feces, and the germs they carry, and it is very accessible. Any guess?
Well, it is the toilet lid.
According to an article on the MIT Medical website, a toilet plume is “an airborne dispersal of microscopic particles created by the flush of a toilet.”.
As you send your pee or poop down the drain, the act of flushing forcefully pushes the water and air in the toilet and creates a spray of droplets that launch approximately up to three feet and linger for many hours.
Here is one question: After you do your business on the toilet, do you leave the cover open or close it before you flush?
The answer is also exactly a fun fact, and here is why:
It turns out, your toilet habits are vital in limiting the number of germs that spread in your bathroom, and those who close the toilet lid before flushing are on the right track.
Even if you have a regular bathroom cleaning routine, the chances of germs lurking around increase every time you flush.
And again, it is because of the toilet plumes.
Bodily excretions like poop and vomit contain germs and bacteria. Toilet plume contains particles of these excretions, which have harmful organisms. In the process, these invisible microorganisms are also launched into the air and spread across your toilet and bathroom.
A scientific study focusing on the potential health risks of toilet plumes indicates that germs and bacteria (including Salmonella and E. coli) can remain in toilets even after several flushes. This means that these harmful organisms can linger and then spread among those who share washrooms or bathrooms. Yikes!
So, again, why should you close the toilet lid? T-O-I-L-E-T P-L-U-M-E, that’s why.
There have been news headlines reporting on the risk of COVID-19 infections in public washrooms circulating since last year. This worries many people, especially since more people are going out who will eventually have to answer the call of nature in a toilet shared by the public.
Does this mean you have to stop using public washrooms to avoid COVID? Experts say you don’t have to as long as you stay away from crowded restrooms, wash your hands properly, and take other necessary precautions to avoid catching COVID and other viruses or diseases. Wearing a face mask and closing the lid when you flush can also boost your protection.
While there is still a need for additional research to support further or refute claims of how hazardous a toilet plume can be to one’s health, you most likely want to be safe rather than sorry. That doesn’t mean you have to quit using your toilet just to avoid that nasty spray of airborne droplets when you flush.
Practicing good toilet habits (and, yes, that includes closing the toilet lid) can lessen your chances of contracting any disease or virus. Make sure you also schedule regular deep bathroom cleaning and always wash your hands after using the toilet.