EWW! You're Getting Feces On Your Hands Every Time You Use Public Restroom
I'm sure we've all heard about how fecal matter goes into the air when we flush toilets without the lid down. Oddly enough there is a term for this event. It's called "toilet plume". But in public bathrooms, where the are numerous toilet plumes every day, where do all these fecal bacteria go?
Well, you're not going to like the answer. These fecal bacteria end up going into the hand dryer and ultimately onto your hands after you use the hand dryer.
In one recent study, researchers examined plates that were exposed to hand dryers for only 30 seconds.
According to CNBC,
The findings: Air-blasted plates carried 18-60 colonies of bacteria on average, whereas two minutes’ exposure to the mere bathroom air left fewer than one colony on average. What’s more, the inside of the dryer nozzles themselves had “minimal bacterial levels.” The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
For the study, a Connecticut-based team looked at 36 bathrooms at facility of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Newsweek notes, where one lab produces large amounts of spores of PS533, a specific but harmless strain of bacteria Bacillus subtilis. Colonies of that strain made up about 2-5% of the bacteria found on the air-blasted plates, regardless of how far the specific bathroom was from the lab where such spores were made.
“These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers,” the authors said.
Here's something else that you're not going to like either. Every time you enter that public restroom and you catch a whiff of that smell, just think, if you breathe through your mouth at all, you're just breathing all that fecal matter onto your taste buds.