You should always put the lead down when flushing the toilet because poo particles spread into the air and drop on toilet floor, walls, toothbrushes, towel and any other item there, scientists have revealed in a new study.
The study says not putting the toilet lead down allows a cloud of bacteria to explode into the air sending a shower of bacteria to settle on nearby surfaces in the bathroom.
People either forget to put the lead down while flushing the toilet or leave it as a habit, probably because they feel it’s nothing.
Now scientists have revealed that not doing so is a very big risk and an unhealthy habit.
Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, said: ‘You get a good spray out of the toilet area.
‘When droplets come out of the toilet, it looks like the Fourth of July.’ July 4 is a federal holiday in the US to celebrate its independence.
This showering of bacteria is sometimes referred to as the ‘aerosol effect’ by some scientists, but others refer to the unpleasant scenario as ‘toilet plume’.
Experts warn that this increases the risk of viruses such as the winter vomiting bug, or norovirus, of transmitting to another person.
Jason Tetro, a visiting scientist at the University of Guelph, said each time you flush ‘an aerosol is created due to the rush of water into the bowl’.
He added: ‘When this happens, any microbes deposited into said toilet may be sent into the surrounding environment.’
Mr Tetro is also the author of The Germ Files: The Surprising Way Microbes Can Improve Health and Life (and How to Protect Yourself From the Bad Ones).
Over the course of a day, the average person is believed to flush the toilet up to six times, according to Realtor.
This is the equivalent of 2,190 flushes – which can use up around 1.6 gallons (6l) – in an entire year.
Fortunately, newer low-flow toilets have lessened the chances of the ‘aerosol effect’ but a lot of older toilets are still in use and so the risk is still there.
Microbiologist Philip Tierno previously told Tech Insider: ‘It is a good idea to lower the seat, especially if the bathroom is used by multiple people.’
This is because aerosol plumes can be transported up to 10 inches above a toilet seat when it is flushed – and remain in the air for up to an hour.
Source: Daily Mail