People should wear masks when they enter public restrooms because there’s evidence that flushing toilets and urinals may shoot coronavirus particles into the air, researchers said in a new study.
Flushing urinals can create an “alarming upward flow” of particles, allowing the coronavirus to “travel faster and fly farther” than from a toilet flush.
- 57% of particles traveled away from the urinal, according to the study.
Urinal flushing indeed promotes the spread of bacteria and viruses. Wearing a mask should be mandatory within public restrooms during the pandemic, and anti-diffusion improvements are urgently needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. — researcher Xiangdong Liu said in a press release, according to USA Today.
- Researchers said virus particles could reach 2 feet off the air within five seconds of flushing.
Potentially, it could contaminate other surfaces you would touch — the handle, the tap. The concern is also — was there anything left over from the person who was there before? Aerosolization from the previous user you may potentially inhale? — Charles Gerba, a professor of virology at the University of Arizona, to USA Today.
What this means:
- “Wearing masks when in public washrooms should be mandatorily implemented,” according to the study.
- Back in June, a study Yangzhou University in China found that the coronavirus could spread from the spray in your toilet, which I wrote about for Deseret.com.
- Researchers used a computer modeling software to show how water sprays into the air after it is flushed. The model showed particles in the flush could reach as high as 3 feet.
- Flushing would leave “a cloud of little particles containing fecal matter into the air — fecal matter that could carry the coronavirus,” according to CNN.