Didn’t use a toilet seat cover in that public restroom? You may regret it
Are you afraid of contracting a terrible disease from using a public restroom? How dirty are those toilets really? And how useful are those annoying paper covers that always tear and then fall into the bowl after you’ve set them down anyway?
Well, according to modern science, those paper covers, don’t actually do very much Concern over the possibility of contracting disease from public restrooms has been around for over 100 years. US patents for sanitation covers for latrine seats date back as far as 1911 and I believe it was the late great Louis Pasteur* one of the founders of germ theory who said: Women, it is best to hover when peeing (*Louis Pasteur definitely did NOT say this).
We know bathrooms and kitchens are a hot bed of bacteria and other microorganisms due to the abundance of moisture and nutrients.
Toilet seats are known hang outs for disease agents like E. Coli, strep- and, staphylococcus bacteria, and the common cold but studies have shown that the toilet bowl isn’t the worst offender when it comes to germs – I will never eat off of anything touched by a kitchen sponge again.
Also, unless you have an open sore or other breach in the protective body casing that is your skin, the chance of disease transmission through toilet seat use is slim. People have gotten their knickers in a bunch over the safety of toilet seats when a few cases of sexually transmitted diseases cropped up in individuals who claimed that they could not have contracted their infections through the usual manner.
Here you go: How To Waterproof Your Bathroom Floor
Dirty toilet seats were blamed but scientists have repeatedly refuted this conclusion on the grounds that the infectious agents are not viable for long outside a host body and transmission requires direct contact with mucosal membranes. Actually, according to a paper in the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology you are far more likely to get sick by breathing the aerosolized bacteria in water droplets from your flush than you are from copping a squat. There is a psychological factor at work here though. For some people, the act of using a disposable seat cover just makes them feel safer and thats hard to argue with.
But if youre looking for habits more conducive to disease prevention than using a toilet seat cover wash your hands with soap and water. Yep, thats it. Thats the best way to avoid getting sick from the use of a public restroom is to wash your hands. Also when possible, close the toilet seat cover before you flush. (Or at least dont stand with your face over the toilet when you do).
So what have we learned? Toilets are not the worst offenders of disease transmission and Nature has once again beat out Man in efficient engineering of sanitary barriers through the evolution of skin. So let us know what you think! Are toilet seat covers a wasteful american phenomenon or necessary precaution?
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