Some may believe that using toilet paper as a seat cover in a public restroom will help them avoid contracting any disease. That thin layer of toilet paper will not be a shield between your bare behind and millions of bacteria laying on that cold toilet seat. However, some may feel safe when using that thin toilet paper cover. Health experts argue that seat covers do not combat germs.
Placing toilet paper over the toilet seat will only make things worse
All toilet seat covers are absorbent, and we need to keep in mind that germs and bacteria are microscopic creatures which could easily pass through the holes of toilet paper. Kelly Reynolds, a public health researcher at the University of Arizona, claims that the thin cover will not stop germs from spreading. Nevertheless, she also claims that is unlikely for anyone to contract any disease from just touching a toilet seat.
She explained that germs usually spread after a person flushes when pieces of fecal matter are spread into the air in aerosol form. This phenomenon is known as “toilet plume.” Reynolds claims that the bits of feces which were blasted into the air settle on surfaces around. Then, they contaminate hands which would get to the mouth, nose, and eyes.
Germs will continue to multiply and spread through the thin toilet paper
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University, agreed with Reynolds explanation. He debunked the idea that toilet seats represent a way to contract or gastrointestinal infections or sexually transmitted diseases easily. Schaffner noted that toilet seats do not act as a vehicle for the transmission of infectious agents.
People should stop worrying about the idea that they will catch something if they touch a toilet seat. Moreover, using toilet paper to cover the seat might make things worse. Raymond Martin, a director of the British Toilet Association, argued that the thin cover will only increase germs’ surface area to multiply. That method used by so many people could only be considered less hygienic.
Most likely, toilet plumes may have already spread fecal matter on the toilet paper. Reynolds points out that seat covers can help people keep things cleaner. When using the toilet, people should avoid hovering over them to reduce the general splatter. However, the biggest concern is spreading fecal matter to the mouth.
Everyone should keep in mind that after using the toilet, they should scrub their hands for 20 seconds with plenty of soap before rinsing.
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