Using a public toilet is inevitable nowadays, but this also means you have to share the same toilet cubicle with hundreds of other people every day. As a result, people are advised to wear face masks when using public toilets as a recent study found that flushing the toilet releases fine particles into the air which puts people at risk of getting Covid-19 in public toilets.
According to a group of Chinese researchers from Yangzhou University, more than 57 per cent of particles are detected in the toilet environment. Because of this, a researcher in a study published in Physics of Fluids suggests that wearing face masks should be mandatory in public toilets during the pandemic and the aspect of droplet distribution should be improved to curb the spread of Covid-19, Astro Awani reports.
Citing a New York Times report, Yangzhou University researcher Dr Ji-Xiang advised the public to be more vigilant to prevent getting infected in public toilets. This includes lowering the lid of the toilet first before flushing.
Another study released by City University’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering in Hong Kong has confirmed that when you flush a toilet without closing the lid, particles from the faeces and urine in the bowl will be almost everywhere in your bathroom, including your toothbrush, but they also added that flushing the toilet with the lid up leads to the release of up to 80,000 polluted droplets and leaves them suspended a metre in the air for hours.
The study showed that flushing can also lead to smaller bacteria particles becoming airborne and these are transmitted into surrounding areas through the droplets produced in flushing. This means that smaller particles such as the deadly coronavirus can spread via these water particles, SCMP reported.
Previously, researchers in China found that coronavirus could be spread through human feces. These studies indicate that the understanding of the causes of the spread of Covid-19 is not yet comprehensive and requires further study.
While it is not proven that the Covid-19 virus can be spread in public toilets, it is always advisable to wear a mask in a place that is accessible by many people daily. Make it a good habit to close the toilet lid before flushing and wash your hands after!
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