How dirty is the toilet in public ?

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How dirty is the toilet in public ? The answer may be unexpected. When urinating is urgency, every minute is extremely long. But many girls should have encountered something more frustrating than finding a toilet: they finally found the toilet, and the result-all toilets! This means that you have to sit on a toilet that many people have sat on, which is equivalent to indirect intimate contact with a stranger’s ass. The most important thing is that you don’t know who has sat on this toilet before. This has to make many people question: more and more public toilets are installed with toilets, is this really hygienic?

Will I be infected with diseases if I sit on the toilet seat in a public toilet? Many people’s first reaction is dirty. From a bacterial point of view, it is indeed. A study on public toilets showed that there are indeed many intestinal-related pathogenic bacteria (such as norovirus, E. coli) on the toilet, and these pathogens can survive on the surface of the toilet for a long time.

But don’t panic! These pathogenic bacteria have a common feature: spread through feces-mouth. Just rely on the contact of a small piece of skin on the buttocks, without worrying about being infected. Instead of thinking that the toilet seat is dirty, it is better to wash your hands before and after the toilet.

Image source: Zhankuhailuo


In addition to bacteria, can public toilets be contagious to STDs? After all, the toilet seat will directly contact the private parts. In fact, don’t worry. Many pathogens related to venereal diseases (such as syphilis) are difficult to survive outside the human body. In addition, sexually transmitted diseases are mainly transmitted through sexual contact, mother-to-child, and blood. Although the probability of external transmission exists, it is very low.

If you are infected with a venereal disease because of using the toilet, it means:
the person who used the toilet last had a venereal disease;
this person happened to have left a lot of fresh semen or vaginal secretions (normal excretion is difficult to do);
just the genitals Or the wound has come into contact with these pathogens.

If it does happen, it is also a “big luck” event that requires extreme skill and luck. The most likely to be contagious sexually transmitted diseases because of using a toilet is to do shameful things on the toilet, but most of the time, it is just an excuse for some people. The real danger of the toilet. Sitting on the toilet seat in an invisible place is unlikely to be infected with diseases. So don’t you need to worry about hygiene in public toilets?

No, there are many pathogens in the public toilet environment. The cyclone generated by flushing the toilet will spray pathogens to all corners of the toilet. They will be dispersed in the toilet air, inhaled by the human body, or dropped on the surface of other objects, and spread through the “feces-oral” route (I know why you should wash your hands carefully. ?). However, there is a gap between the level of the squat and the toilet in the skill of “spraying poison.”

How dirty is the toilet in public
Image source: Zhankuhailuo


Squatting pits are more straight-through, and the spray will splash a lot of bacteria and microorganisms; and the toilets are mostly siphonic, and more pathogens will be sucked into the sewer. Moreover, the squatting posture greatly reduces the person’s breathing area, which may inhale more pathogens.

During the recent new crown epidemic, the risk of squatting has been mentioned many times. During the epidemic, WHO recommends that everyone put down the toilet lid before flushing to prevent virus-contaminated splashes and droplets from spreading through aerosols. However, for open pits, this is difficult to achieve. In addition, the surfaces around the squat pit (such as the place where the foot is stepped) are all vulnerable to contamination.


How dirty is the toilet in public

On June 29, 2020, the Beijing Municipal Government reported two cases, contracting the new crown virus after using community public toilets. In fact, there has long been more evidence to prove that the risk of disease transmission in the toilet is lower. Studies have shown that the concentration of air colonies above the squat pits of Khmer families is 21 times that of toilets from the United States; the E. coli on the toilet handles is 57 times that of squats;

Iranian researchers investigated the condition of 40 toilets (20 toilets and 20 squatting pits) after one year of use. The results showed that although the types of microorganisms in the two types of toilets are not different, the number of pathogens on the surface of the squatting toilet is higher. many.

If you think these are just digital, the curious laboratory has also done more intuitive experiments: the experimenter will add luminous sodium fluorescein to the sink and toilet sink respectively (well, the yellow is not urine, it is firefly Light agent), and then place a piece of transparent glass directly above to observe the splashing of the glass liquid after flushing the toilet.

The first time is to cover the glass directly:

How dirty is the toilet in public
Image source: Curious Lab

It was found that there were a lot of splashing water drops on the glass plate above the squatting pit; while the glass plate above the toilet also had splashing water drops, but most of them were concentrated in the middle, and the number was much smaller than that of the squatting pit.

How dirty is the toilet in a public toilet
Image source: Curious Lab

The experiment continued, this time the glass was suspended at a height of 40cm. It was found that although the water droplets splashed from the squat pit were much less, the range was larger and wider, and there were almost no water droplets splashed from the toilet. The final result was the discovery: the water splashed from the squat pit can reach the upper body of a person as high as possible.

It should be understood that the pathogen is much smaller than the water splash, the increase may be higher, and the floating time may be longer. Imagine you who are queuing at the door of a squat. The last person has just flushed the toilet. You open the door quickly and greet you with all kinds of invisible water droplets and pathogens being splashed.

And these pathogens that are in the air or scattered on the surface of public toilets may be inhaled or touched by you. This is an inevitable problem of squatting, but for the toilet, the solution is very simple-when flushing the toilet, put the lid on.

The dilemma of public toilets: The risk of disease transmission is lower if you would rather hold back than use the toilet, so is it the best choice for public toilets? The answer is not necessarily yes, because many people would not choose to sit on the toilet when facing the toilet.

A study of 6004 women in the United States showed that only 21% of people did not mind using public toilets, while the rest would change their urination habits more or less because of their minds. Even, 17% of people would rather hold back home than use public toilets.


How dirty is the toilet in a public toilet

In addition to inconvenience, such “dare not to use” caused by worry may also affect women’s health-holding back urine for a long time will cause more lower urinary tract problems.

How dirty is the toilet in a public toilet
*Left: Unrestricted use of toilets; Right: Restricted use of toilets
*The brackets represent the proportion of people with lower urinary tract symptoms

It can be seen that people who restrict toilet use have more lower urinary tract symptoms in their self-evaluation than those who do not restrict toilet use.

There are more and more toilets in public toilets in China, but there is often a lack of cleaning facilities for toilets, such as disinfectant, disposable cushions, etc., and the unwillingness to use it may be more serious. In order to prevent the buttocks from directly contacting the toilet seat, many people will choose to pad toilet paper, pony stances, or even step on the toilet seat to solve the problem of internal urgency. But incorrect use of pipes means that more pathogens may be stained on the toilet seat, and many people don’t know that the toilet lid should be closed to flush the toilet… As a result, the advantages of the toilet compared to the pit are greatly reduced.

Accidents caused by stepping on the toilet seat are not uncommon.

The toilet was designed so that everyone can sit on it. Solving this problem is difficult and difficult, but simple and simple-when upgrading the squat pit to a toilet, the supporting measures for disinfectant and disposable cushions are also taken into consideration. At least let everyone sit on the toilet seat without any unknown liquid or footprints on their buttocks. In order to make more people willing to sit on it.



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