Bacterial Phobia: Restrooms not as bad as you may think, say researchers

Toilets at your home are not as unhealthy as you may think but never healthy either, finds a study.

In the study, researchers from San Diego State University in California analyzed the abundance of the microbial community on floors, toilet seats and soap dispensers.

“We hypothesised that while bacteria would be dispersed rapidly due to toilet flushing, they would not survive long as most are not good competitors in cold, dry, oxygen-rich environments,” said corresponding author Jack A. Gilbert.

“As such, we expected the skin microbes to take over – which is exactly what we found,” he added.

Samples clustered vaginal bacteria from ladies’ toilet seats while the gut-associated bacteria were more copious on toilet seats in men’s rooms.

Ultimately, skin and outdoor-associated bacteria group comprised 68-98 percent of cultured communities with foecal group representing just 0-15 percent of these.

“A key criterion of of healthy or unhealthy might be the presence or relative abundance of pathogens. Restrooms are not necessarily unhealthy but classifying them as healthy would not necessarily be accurate,” Gilbert noted.

The research will likely help in building restrooms and buildings generally that are healthier for humans, he said. The research was published online in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

In a related study early this this year, it was found that modern hand dryers are worse than paper towels that were in use in many public toilets and washrooms as they spread more germs, according to a Leeds varsity research.

Bacterial air counts around jet air dryers were 4.5 times higher than around warm air dryers and 27 times higher compared to air around paper towels. The findings were published in the Journal of Hospital Infection.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.