The coronavirus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced by sneezing, coughing, talking or breathing. However, scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering have suggested that there may be alternative routes of transmission of the pathogen, including through flushing the toilet. This is possible given that some studies have found SARS-Cov-2 particles in urine and stool samples.
Scientists conducted a series of tests that analyzed the spread of microbial aerosol droplets produced by flushing water in a toilet or urinal in a public toilet. Using a special particle counter to measure the size and number of droplets, the researchers found that droplets “fly up” to a height of up to 1.5 meters within 20 seconds after pressing the flush button.
To make matters worse, a small amount of drips entered the space even when the toilet lid was closed. Scientists have suggested that they can exit through the gap between the lid and the toilet seat.
“After about three hours of testing involving over 100 washes, we saw a significant increase in measured aerosol levels in the environment. The total number of droplets generated in each wash test has reached tens of thousands, ”the study authors said.
According to scientists, high permeability, closed space in cabins, together with poor-quality ventilation can create real breeding grounds for infection in public toilets. Therefore, it is very important to enter the toilet only with a mask and leave it as soon as possible after use.