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Will Lining The Toilet Seat Protect You From Germs? | What The FAQs | NowThis

August 27, 2019


If you’re anything like me, before you use a public toilet, (upbeat music) – You pray that mountain
doesn’t fall in the water or the automatic flush
doesn’t go off before you sit, and if successful, well, you handle business. (toilet papers rip) (toilet flushes) – But is all that toilet paper really saving us from germs? We’re talking to a doctor that specializes in infectious disease
and preventive medicine to learn all about bathroom science and the germs you come
in contact with daily. (upbeat music) (logo chimes) (toilet flushes) – A few years ago I was in an airport, I want to say it was in Chicago, where they had these
automatic toilet seat liners on some of the toilets. That reduces the “ick” factor (laughs), which is important to a lot of people, bur really doesn’t
prevent the transmission of any bad germs. (projector turns on) – Ready for our fun fact? On any given toilet there’s an average of 1,200 germs per square inch. The average human carries up to a kilogram of microorganisms,
which are found on the So, it’s not out of the question to think organisms can be left on the toilet seat when someone gets up from
handling their business. (toilet flushes) – Human waste can contain
microbes that carry viruses like Salmonella and Hepatitis A and E. If you think that’s bad,
studies have even found on hospital bathroom toilet seats. Bacteria can live for days depending on its type, location, and the
humidity of the environment. Luckily for us, our bodies
are covered with yeast and our own set of bacteria
that works like a shield to prevent outside germs from getting in. (classical music) – We have to remember that We don’t walk around with
a microscope all the time, but if you went around with a swab and swabbed the environment, you would see bacteria everywhere. So sometimes these
bacteria, in small numbers, days. They’re not growing, they’re
just kind of sitting there. And, yes, you could
pick it up on your skin, They usually don’t
penetrate the skin itself, (classical music fades) (drum beats) – In most cases, your
hands are the gateway to introducing germs to your body. Germs can be transported inside your body when you touch your
mouth or rub your eyes. This is why it’s always important to or when you come in contact with bacteria. It’s recommended that you
scrub for 30 seconds and (gong bangs) (upbeat music) – The first use of toilet paper in medieval China. Before that, wealthy
people wiped themself with As for poor people, they used after pooping into a river. In ancient Rome people
used a sponge on a stick to wipe their butts. Then they’d place it
into a pale of vinegar so it would be ready for re-use. Toilet paper wasn’t
popularized in the U.S. until (dramatic beats) – While many opt for toilet
paper as a source of protection, public health experts say You see, toilet paper is porous. It has tiny holes that small
organisms can travel through. So when you line the
seat with toilet paper, it only delays the time
it takes for the bacteria Toilet paper also acts as
a method of transportation for bacteria to travel and
spread on other surfaces. Then there’s (toilet flushes) – So you have material in the bowl, in a sink or a toilet (coughs),
and then you move that material, the water, with
energy, that’s the flush. And you do get some
aerosolization of the moisture. You can’t see it, and some of that can contain bacteria. (dramatic music) – According to a 2005
study, when you flush, microorganisms can jump out of the toilet Theoretically, those
doodoo particles can then spread from the toilet
bowl to the toilet paper, so when you wipe, you’re exposing yourself to the same germs. lining the seat with toilet paper. Grossed out? It gets even worse. If that bathroom has an
automatic hand dryer, it can suck poop particles out of the air and push them back out
every time it’s activated. (hand driers whoosh) – That means The same thing can even happen at home. A 2012 study by Manchester
University in England claims, the average tooth brush has more than Including fecal matter. And you know where those
particles come from? You guessed it. When you flush the toilet. (tooth brush plops) – It may just be part of regular exposure to all of those germs. We don’t really have to
be all that obsessive. – Experts say that as long
as you use tooth paste when you brush, those poop
particles shouldn’t harm you. If anything, these germs work
to build your immune system, making it harder to
contract any illnesses. The plight against dirty
toilets is often fought by But experts went against this as When urinating and hovering,
your muscles and pelvic floor get tense making it hard
for urine to flow naturally. After years, this can
make your bladder weak, and if you’re not releasing all your pee, it can also increase your risk for a urinary tract infection. As long as there’s no liquid
or visible fecal matter on the toilet seat, Just don’t touch your eyes or your mouth and immediately wash your hands. Because if you did come
in contact with pathogens, that would be a direct conduit for germs to enter the body. So if this made you feel
afraid of sitting on a toilet, get over yourself. There’s germs everywhere. (mellow music)

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