Did you know that when you flush the toilet it actually sprays poop particles and airborne pathogens? There have been studies conducted to show how this spray affects air quality and the spread of germs.
The spread of germs through toilet spray may seem like a small issue to you because you aren’t eating in the bathroom but there are some concerns to consider. Toilet flush is not just an issue in your own bathroom, it is an issue in public bathrooms as well. Germs and pathogens live in waste and can become aerosolized when the toilet flushes. This means you may breathe in these germs and pathogens.You won’t want to hang around a public restroom for too long to help cut down on your exposure to toilet spray. Bathrooms need proper ventilation to ensure the air quality stays healthy in regards to toilet spray. In your own home you will want to consider what toilet spray may touch.
Many modern homes have water closets that isolate the toilet from the rest of the bathroom which is a great way to reduce germs. In bathrooms without a water closet you will want to consider exposure of your countertops, toothbrushes and other surfaces. No one wanted to brush their teeth with a toothbrush covered in aerosolized poop. Keeping toothbrushes put away and wiping down counters regularly is an important part of keeping your bathroom safe and sanitary. While you may not eat in your bathroom you touch your face, eyes, and mouth regularly in the bathroom and want to make sure you are not exposing yourself to unnecessary germs.
So what can you do to protect yourself beyond wiping down counters? Shutting the lid of the toilet prior to flushing the toilet helps to reduce toilet spray. Investing in an odorless toilet with a downdraft fan can also help prevent the spread of germs. Running the exhaust fan helps to remove aerosolized particles from the toilet spray. Cleaning products like microban that create a germ barrier for up to 24 hours may be a great option for high touch spots in your bathroom.
When cleaning your bathroom you will want to clean more than just the areas you touch. Wiping down walls, all sides of the toilet, cabinetry and the floors is important for fully eliminating germs. There is not much you can do about the state of public access bathrooms other than to limit your time in these spaces and to seek out options with better ventilation. Single stall public restrooms may be the safest bet because there will not be multiple toilets flushing during your time in the bathroom.
While germs are gross and the idea of aerosolized poop particles is unsettling this is not a health crisis. We have lived with the reality of toilet spray before we knew about it without major health implications. This information is more for helping to limit exposure and not to create panic. There has been no evidence that this is causing health issues in the average person but is something to consider when you are cleaning your bathroom or deciding where to store your toothbrush.