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'Aerosolized Droplets' Hang in the Air After Toilet Flush

'Aerosolized Droplets' Hang in the Air After Toilet Flush

THURSDAY, April 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If you're in a public restroom, you may not want to hang around too long, because lots of airborne pathogens are hanging around, too.

'Aerosolized Droplets' Hang in the Air After Toilet Flush

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science conducted flush tests in a public restroom with both a toilet and a urinal.

"After about three hours of tests involving more than 100 flushes, we found a substantial increase in the measured aerosol levels … with the total number of droplets generated in each flushing test ranging up to the tens of thousands," said study co-author Siddhartha Verma. He is an assistant professor of ocean and mechanical engineering at the university.

Pathogens that can cause Ebola, norovirus and even COVID-19 can be found in stagnant water, as well as in urine, feces and vomit. According to the research team, flushing can generate large amounts of airborne germs, depending on flushing power, toilet design and water pressure.

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