New Study Debunks Myth: Closing Toilet Lid Doesn’t Prevent Spread of Germs, University of Arizona and Lysol Maker Find
Researchers from the University of Arizona and Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol, have conducted a study to determine whether closing the lid on a toilet can prevent the spread of aerosolized germs. Surprisingly, the study found that closing the lid does not have a significant effect on reducing the spread of viral particles.
Previous studies have shown that closing the lid on a toilet can help mitigate the spread of bacteria. However, this new research focused on smaller viral particles. The team tested viral particles in both residential and public toilets located in an office building.
In order to measure the quantity of viral particles, the researchers introduced a non-infectious virus into the toilet and flushed it. They then swabbed the various surfaces to collect samples for analysis. The study found no significant difference in the quantity of viruses based on lid position or floor examination.
Interestingly, the study discovered that the most contaminated surface in the toilet was the toilet seat. On the other hand, minimal viral contamination was observed on the surrounding walls. Furthermore, closing the lid before flushing actually led to elevated contamination levels in specific areas.
The researchers also investigated the impact of different cleaning methods on viral contamination. Toilets that were cleaned with a brush and a disinfectant, particularly hydrochloric acid, had lower contamination levels compared to those cleaned with just a brush. Cleaning the toilet bowl with both a brush and a disinfectant reduced contamination not only on the toilet bowl but also on adjacent surfaces such as the restroom floor and toilet brush caddy.
Dr. Charles P Gerba, the lead author of the study, highlighted the importance of regular disinfection in reducing contamination and preventing the spread of viruses. He emphasized that simply closing the lid on the toilet is not sufficient to protect against the transmission of germs.
This study provides valuable insights into the proper hygiene practices for toilets. It suggests that regular cleaning with a disinfectant, especially one that contains hydrochloric acid, can effectively reduce viral contamination. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in restrooms is crucial in preventing the spread of viruses.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life, understanding the most effective methods to prevent the spread of germs is essential. This new research challenges the long-held belief that closing the lid on a toilet can significantly reduce the transmission of viral particles. It serves as a reminder to prioritize proper cleaning and disinfection protocols to ensure public health and safety.