Toilet flushing can spread COVID-19 faster in air: Know the right etiquette of using washrooms

Toilet flushing can spread COVID-19 faster in air: Know the right etiquette of using washrooms

Toilet flushing can spread COVID-19 faster in air: Know the right etiquette of using washrooms

 

Next time when you visit a public toilet, put the lid down before you flush. A new Chinese study has warned that flushing a toilet can give the next user COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have constantly tried to warn people about possible transmission methods. While we know of the usual modes of transmission, once in a while, experts have come up with new ways in which this virus can reach you. All this is done to keep you safe by preventing the spread of the deadly virus. Experts have also put emphasis on precautionary measures like washing of hands with soap and water, wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing among others. All this can keep you safe. But recent research shows that the virus may also come at you from another surprising direction. Also Read – COVID-19: Government issues guidelines for public places

Next time when you visit a public toilet, put the lid down before you flush. A new Chinese study has warned that flushing a toilet generates strong turbulence in the bowl that can expel aerosol particles containing coronavirus out of the bowl which can potentially infect the next bathroom user. Researchers at Yangzhou University in China used computer modeling to show how the water from a flushed toilet could spray up into the air as high as three feet.

High Speed Airflow Is The Problem

In a paper published in the journal ePhysics of Fluids, the team said that it is reasonable to assume that the high-speed airflow will expel aerosol particles from the bowl to regions high in the air above the toilet, allowing viruses to spread indoors causing risks to human health. According to researchers, one can foresee that the velocity will be even higher when a toilet is used frequently, such as in the case of a family toilet during a busy time or a public toilet serving a densely populated area.

Know How To Use The Toilet Properly

Toilets are a daily necessity but it can become dangerous if used improperly, especially against the current scenario of a global pandemic. Researchers say that some 40 per cent to 60 per cent of the total number of particles can rise above the toilet seat to cause large-area spread, with the height of these particles reaching 106.5 cm from the ground. The data analysis indicates that given the same amount of water and the same gravitational potential energy, annular flushing method causes more virus spread.

A Few Tips For You

Here are a few tips on using the toilet correctly, as put forward by researchers of the above-mentioned study. Of course, the other precautions like washing hands properly with soap and water after use is mandatory as is social distancing.

Put the toilet lid down before flushing. This can basically prevent virus transmission.

Clean the toilet seat before using it, since floating virus particles could have settled on its surface.

Wash hands carefully after flushing. Virus particles may be present on the flush button and door handle.

Researchers are hopeful that this paper may enlighten toilet manufacturers and prompt them to produce better designed toilets in which the lid is automatically put down before flushing and cleaned before and after flushing.

26 Comments

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    data analysis indicates that given the same amount of water and the same gravitational potential energy, annular flushing method causes more virus spread.

  26. Reply

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