How do you flush after using the water closet? Do you use a bucket of water or use the lever?
On a daily basis, people perform activities essential to daily living directly or indirectly, using the toilet is one of them.
You may find it strange but how you flush goes a long way in affecting your health.
Many people do not know that the act of flushing releases microbes into the air capable of sticking to surfaces such as toothbrushes, soap, towels and sponges.
The manner in which microbes are launched in the air is called “Toilet Plumes.”
In this article, we take a look at what Toilet Plume is about, how it affects health and how it can be controlled.
What is a Toilet Plume?
A toilet plume is the dispersal of microscopic particles as a result of flushing a toilet.
In simpler terms, it refers to poop particles spraying into the air on flushing.
How does it occur?
This occurs when flushing is done without covering the toilet using the lid thereby contaminating nearby surfaces through droplets ejected from the toilet.
- Larger droplets settle on a surface before they can dry and can contaminate surfaces such as the toilet seat and handle which can then be contacted by hands.
- Smaller particles can become droplet nuclei and as a result of evaporation of the water in it, it’s carried by natural air currents.
What are the Effects of Toilet Plumes?
Research suggests that toilet plumes could play a contributory role in the transmission of infectious diseases.
Researchers found that the toilet disperses the microbes far enough to settle on other bathroom surfaces, like the floor, the sink, and even toothbrush which predisposes individuals to diseases such as gastroenteritis, typhoid, hepatitis, etc.
Bacteria like salmonella and shigella and viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A, are transmitted when fecal particles enter the mouth or a broken skin.
How to prevent / minimize contact with toilet plumes
- Ensure the toilet is covered before flushing; Turns out closing the toilet seat lid is not just common courtesy, its sanitary.
- Even after covering the toilet bowl, it is a good idea to store towels, sponges, and mouth related items such as toothbrushes in a cabinet.
- On using public toilet which rarely have lids, exit at the time of the flush.
- Always wash hands after using the toilet, if you do not have access to water, use a hand sanitizer.
It’s not healthy to have the walls of your bathroom or toilet covered with bacteria or viruses each time flushing is done.
Using a bucket of water to flush is not hygienic. It is better to have the water system fixed since you will not be able to flush with the lid closed.
If you find yourself waiting in line to use a toilet, take a pause before you enter because the person who used it before you may not have used the lid appropriately.
Remember to close lid when you are done before you flush and wash hands after.
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