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Around 80,000 Bacteria Droplets Could Stay Into The Air For Hours If You Flush Without Closing The Toilet Lid - Study

Maybe most of us are doing this common practice when using a toilet - we keep the lid of the toilet open before we flush it. 

This new study released in the university of Hong Kong detailing how bacteria stays in the air by polluted droplets, might change the way you use the toilet before all the germs, viruses and bacteria fly all around the parts of your home.

According to study, a toilet flush can release up to 80,000 polluted droplets and leave them suspended a metre in the air for hours if the lid is keep open, SCMP reported.

Smaller bacteria are even more likely to become airborne and transmitted into the surrounding via polluted droplets produced during flushing, said Alvin Lai Chi-keung, associated head of the department for the year-long study that was done by the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering of City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

“Covering the toilet lid while flushing is definitely essential, but it should not be considered complete prevention,” he added. 

Chi-keung recommended household to clean their bathroom thoroughly and regularly using diluted bleach, make sure that it was well ventilated and close the door when it is not in use.  He said that good ventilation in the washroom is necessary to prevent saturation of airborne bacteria.

Turning exhaust fan for 15 minutes could helped removed 87% of airborne pathogens from the toilet space. He added that people should brush the toilet during cleaning to effectively remove all bacteria that had adhered to washroom surfaces.

     Source: SCMP

Another member of the research team, Professor Iris Li Wai-sum said windows in the washroom should remain closed during ventilation to avoid drawing the polluted air back inside.

The study revealed the relationship between airborne aerosol droplets and the transmission of pathogens. It was discovered that using a mechanical flush from a cistern can produce up to 14,500 droplets ranging from 0.3 to 10 micrometres in size. For flush systems using a valve or flushometer, these can release up to 80,000 particles in the air.

The National Health Commission and the World Health Organisation, however, have not yet added this to its list of transmission methods.

The WHO said Covid-19 was mainly transmitted through close personal contacts, but the full extent of transmission methods required further study.

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