Public toilets don’t always have the best reputation. For many, the thought of going into a slightly unappealing looking public toilet is not something that fills them with joy. But can they actually make you unwell?
Previous studies in America have found that samples taken from public bathrooms showed that the number of bacteria present was too big to measure in many cases, which can lead to people feeling reluctant to go to the toilet in public restrooms.
So, are they safe?
According to WebMD, if your immune system is healthy and you adopt simple hygienic measures like hand-washing, you should be able to overcome any germs or bugs that you encounter in bathrooms fairly easily.
They also go on to explain that, although many people fear sitting on unfamiliar toilet seats, the toilet seat is not a common threat for transmitting infections to humans. This is because a lot of disease-causing organisms can only survive for a short time on the surface of the seat. For a person to become infected, the germs would have to be transferred from the toilet seat directly into the body, such as through a cut or sore on the body which comes into contact with the toilet. Although this is possible, it’s highly unlikely.
What can you do to help?
Experts all advise that toilet seats are widely considered to be safe for people to use – and that the public should not be concerned about using communal bathrooms. In order to make sure that you’re as clean and healthy as possible, no matter what toilet you’re using, there are some tips that you can follow:
- Wash your hands – your hands can be the biggest transferrer of bacteria, so make sure that you wash them thoroughly with warm soapy water after going to the toilet.
- Don’t put your bag on the floor – floors of public bathrooms can be coated in bacteria that people tread through, so try to put your bag on a hook when you’re using the toilet.
- Open the door before you flush – some experts say that opening the door before you flush helps reduce the spray of bacteria, so one to try if you’re worried!
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