Scientists at the University of Arizona have debunked a long-held myth about toilet hygiene. According to their research, it doesn’t matter whether you leave the toilet lid up or down when flushing. The study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, found that closing the lid on a residential toilet does not prevent the spread of viral particles.
This finding contradicts previous studies that have linked aerosolized plumes from toilet flushes to norovirus outbreaks. These studies had alarmed researchers, who sought to raise awareness about the germ-laced plumes in public restrooms. However, the new study at the University of Arizona suggests that these concerns may have been unfounded.
The research team studied toilets in both an office building’s public restroom and a residential home. They found no significant difference in overall viral contamination, regardless of whether the residential toilet lid was open or closed before flushing. The study concluded that disinfecting the toilet, toilet water, and nearby surfaces is the only meaningful way to reduce the spread of viral pathogens such as norovirus.
To effectively reduce viral contamination, experts recommend regularly sanitizing toilets and nearby surfaces. Using a disinfectant wipe to clean the toilet handle after use is also essential. Additionally, hand-washing and hand sanitizer play a crucial role in reducing the spread of germs in public restrooms. Individuals are advised to put away their toothbrush and avoid handling their phones while using the restroom.
This new research challenges common beliefs about toilet hygiene and provides important insights for public health. With the understanding that closing the toilet lid does not prevent the spread of viral particles, individuals can focus their efforts on more effective hygiene practices such as regular cleaning and proper hand hygiene.
So, next time you visit a restroom, remember to prioritize disinfection rather than worrying about whether to close the lid. Stay safe and remember that proper hygiene practices are key to preventing the spread of germs.
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