Health Hazards of using Public Toilets

Health Hazards of using Public Toilets


October 23, 2013


The biggest fear people have when they use a public toilet is that they will contact diseases because these toilets are usually not clean. They take all possible steps to avoid touching the faucet and may even try to flush the toilet with their shoe. Even though the idea of flushing the toilet with one’s shoe may sound absurd, many people actually flush public toilets using their shoe.

Even though unclean bathrooms can cause many health problems, the anxiety over the use of public bathrooms is overdone. Yes, there are several disease causing bacteria that you can find in the toilet seat, but these bacteria will not affect you if you have a strong immune system. Some bacteria and viruses that you can find in toilet seat of public bathrooms include E.coli, streptococcus, hepatitis A virus, staphylococcus, shigella bacteria and sexually transmitted organisms. These disease-causing bacteria will not affect you if you have a strong immune system and clean your hands with an antibacterial soap after using the public toilet.

There is no doubt that toilet seat of public restrooms contain germs that have negative impact on your health. They are considered a health hazard and are known to cause problems like gonorrhoea or Chlamydia. However, you must understand that these disease causing viruses and bacteria survive only for a period of very short time on the surface of toilet seat. Also, germs can only affect you if they come in contact with your genital or urethral tract. At times germs can enter the body through sore or cut in the thighs or buttocks, so it is best that you cover open wounds before using public toilet. The skin is one of the strongest parts of the immune system and as long as there are not cuts in your body, the germs cannot affect you.

Most people are under the impression that they will become sick even if they come in contact with a single strain of bacterium or virus. This may be true for people who have an extremely weak immune system. People who have a strong immune system will fall sick only if they come in contact with large amounts of bacteria and viruses.

Germs in the feces will propel into the air and affect you only when the toilet is flushed. To avoid contact with the germs, you must leave the stall immediately after flushing the toilet. This will prevent the germs from using you as the landing site.

Risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

The risk of contacting STD when using public toilet is low because viruses that cause STD cannot survive for long after they leave the human body. STD usually spreads through sexual activity which includes oral sex and sexual intercourse. Viruses that cause STD don’t survive more than a few minutes in hot and dry conditions which reduce the risk of these diseases when you use public toilet. These viruses can only affect you if you have cuts in your skin.

Hygiene Hints

Here are a few hygiene hints to the risk of disease and infection:

  • One of the best ways of avoiding infection is by washing your hands after using the toilet. This will prevent the germs from spreading and reduce the risk of infection. You must wash your hands with a soap and don’t touch any other part of your body unless you clean your hands.
  • After you wash your hands, you must dry your hands thoroughly. If your hands are wet, in can increase the lifespan of germs which can increase the risk of infection.
  • To reduce the risk of infection, you can use toilet paper to flush the toilet. You can also use toilet paper to dry your hands and open the door on the way out. Toilet paper can also be used to close and open the tap.

Category: Health Problems

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