Public bathrooms can be quite messy. I mean, who hasn’t opened a toilet stall door and immediately realized how strong the odor is? And think about all the people who previously sat on that toilet seat to fulfill their needs… The solution seems obvious: cover the seat with a few pieces of toilet paper to create a barrier between your body and all those nasty germs. Surely, this layer of paper will protect you, right? Well, it’s probably time to reconsider. According to experts in infectious diseases, covering the toilet seat with a layer of paper is not only pointless—it may actually increase your chances of coming into contact with germs.
The truth is, you shouldn’t put toilet paper on a toilet seat. While many people believe that public bathrooms are teeming with bacteria and infectious diseases, modern toilets are designed to prevent exactly that.
Gastrointestinal or sexually transmitted diseases were once believed to spread through contact with toilet seats, but science has debunked this notion. In fact, the skin on our buttocks is a strong defense against germs, as confirmed by scientists.
“Toilet seats are not a vehicle for the transmission of any infectious agents—you won’t catch anything,” said William Schaffner, a professor and infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in an interview with the Huffington Post.
It’s also a good idea to reconsider placing toilet paper on the seat. Unlike toilet seats, paper is an ideal carrier for all kinds of germs. So, when you put down some paper, pick it up again once you’re done, and then likely touch your face, you’re potentially exposing yourself to bacteria.
The same applies to flushing the toilet. The handle is touched by people who have just finished using the toilet, making it a breeding ground for germs. Additionally, people often forget to close the lid when they flush, which can spread bacteria around the restroom.
Studies have also shown that electric hand dryers spread germs much more than paper towels. Hand dryers can spread germs up to six feet (1.8 meters) away.
So, what can you do to reduce the risk of getting sick from a public toilet? Wash your hands properly. According to researchers, this can reduce the risk of stomach disorders by about 50 percent.
Please share this tip with your friends. Hopefully, it can help prevent people from getting sick!