Skip to comments.Flush With Germs: Lidless Toilets Spread C Difficile
Posted on 01/11/2012 12:04:59 AM PST by Pining_4_TX
Put a lid on it. That is the conclusion of research examining the amount of Clostridium difficile that flies into the air and contaminates surrounding surfaces with the flush of a lidless toilet.
The investigation, published online December 2 in the International Journal of Hospital Infection, is the work of E. L. Best from the Microbiology Department, Old Medical School, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Teaching Hospital National Health Service Trust, United Kingdom, and colleagues. Using fecal suspensions of C difficile, the researchers measured airborne suspension of the bacteria in addition to surface contamination by the bacteria after flushing of both lidless and lidded toilets.
Air samples 25 cm above the commode, which is about the height of the handle, contained C difficile, with the highest numbers coming from samples taken immediately after flushing. The number of viable bacteria declined 8-fold within an hour, from 36 colony-forming units (cfu) collected at seat height to 8 cfu, and by 90 minutes, the number fell to 3 cfu. Surrounding surfaces were contaminated within 90 minutes of flushing, with relatively large droplets released in the immediate environment. The mean number of droplets was between 15 and 47, depending on toilet design, the report states.
Researchers also found the number of viable bacteria to be 12-fold higher from open toilets compared with the same toilet when the lid was closed. They collected 35 cfu at seat height within 30 minutes of flushing an open toilet, but only 3 cfu at seat height within 30 minutes of flushing a lidded commode.
(Excerpt) Read more at medscape.com ...
OK, it is easy to understand that there would be fewer suspended droplets in the air above a toilet flushed with a closed lid.
Admittedly I didnt read the entire article because I didnt care to sign up.
But perhaps you can tell me did the test the air above the toilet after the lid was opened on the closed lid toilets after a flush.
I can see that opening the lid on a toilet creates air turbulence in the bowl and would possibly carry suspended water droplets out of the bowl and on to your hands and face.
If you are going to do a study like this you have to consider how people actually use the device.
They make a device to stop this from happening and it also prevents odor from permeating the room, I was trying to get someone to pay me to install one in the 1990s but no one ever wanted to spend the money for installation.
It was a suction device, and would have been great on small boats and motor homes.
An exhaust fan for your toilet bowl?
Unless you really slam open the lid on your toilet, you’re not going to create enough turbulence to lift any water out of the bowl. The problem lies in the actual flush. When the toilet is flushed it splashes. Some droplets are big, others are much smaller (and these are the ones that stay airborne longer). A closed toilet is going to keep most of those droplets inside the bowl, where the vacuum created by the flush process will pull the majority of them back down. Without the lid, the droplets can get far enough away from the bowl that they won’t be pulled back down.
Also, regarding the new versus the old toilets, the old ones probably weren’t quite as bad for germ spreading, since most of them didn’t have the flush jet at the bottom, but they still had some splash even if it wasn’t easily noticeable; they just dumped the water in from the rim until enough had gone through to theoretically evacuate the bowl. Those bottom jets in the new design toilets are probably a big cause of the splashing, since less water means more positive pressure is needed to move things along.
The problem with most old toilets was, even though there was enough water to theoretically flush the thing, it was used very inefficiently. The old toilets, as noted, relied on the weight of the water in the bowl to flush, and only filled from small outlets around the rim. If they did become clogged, they were much more likely to overflow if you didn’t get the tank lid off and the valve shut in time.
New toilets flush much more efficiently, but often don’t have enough total fluid to do the job right, and the u-bend dimensions are therefore much more critical, since it has to be big enough not to clog but small enough that the tiny water volume will still work. Usually designers get the second part right, and fail on the first.
The ideal design would use maybe two to two-point-five gallons to flush instead of the three or more of the old rim-only toilets, but would have the jet at the bottom of the bowl to get things moving past the u-bend.
Could they make that description any longer? Wow.
the world's population is ballooning even in poor sanitary areas like Africa and Asia....
somehow, someway, we humans seem to be thriving even with all these "germs" everywhere....
the gist of the story....germs are natual, everywhere, and humans with even a modicum of health can survive quite nicely...
Yes it was, more technical and well done and incorporated into the toilet of course, but as a plumbing contractor I like the idea, I hope it went somewhere.
Time Warp: Toilet Flush
With the help of a little dry ice, you can see a toilet plume — the dispersion of water and waste that becomes airborne every time you flush.
Beware of the storage location of your toothbrushes and razors.
How much added expense are we talking about?
I don’t remember, let’s guess $900 to $1500 total price for me in Southern California, on the coast.
Frankly it could be a LOT less today and in different areas.
This sounds like a high end product something along the lines of a bidet. Buy a bidet and I throw in the toilet with exhauster for half price.
For me, it was Southern California yachts that needed it, I sincerely think.
The normal home owner sure didn’t.
There are waterless composting toilets that are basically a fancy version of the old “out house”. Now if the government would just ban flush toilets for the public good... just like they did incandescent light bulbs... the world would be saved from this problem . Of course Congress and government officials would be exemp and continue to enjoy flush toilets while the rest of us would be left shoveling sh*t from our composting toilets to haul to government subsidized compost facilities created as “green” jobs.
I will have to disagree on this. We are not talking about visible droplets here. If you look back at the article we are talking about water droplets that can remain suspended in the air for 90 minutes we are talking about something microscopic. A microscopic water droplet could be lifted out of a toilet bowl by the vacuum created by lifting the lid of that toilet.
As for the turbulence caused by lifting a lid I suggest this experiment (this may gross you out).
Take a puff of a cigarette of cigar, holding the toilet lid barely open gently blow the smoke in to the toilet bowl filling it with smoke as much as possible. Next lift the lid as you usually would and observe the path of the smoke exiting the bowl (it may help the visibility of the smoke to let the smoke clear before opening the lid). I think you may be surprised by the result.
Tiny particles can be carried very far by small air currents.
“The ideal design would use maybe two to two-point-five gallons to flush instead of the three or more of the old rim-only toilets, but would have the jet at the bottom of the bowl to get things moving past the u-bend.”
I bought fill tube/flapper valve assemblies for a designer toilet, think French Country, that uses a taller, narrower tank. Installing these in my regular “Lo-Flush” tanks, allows me to add an extra gallon to gallon and a half of water. They flush great!
For the past couple decades I have kept my toothbrush in a glass of hydrogen peroxide.
Try an out house with holes carved in the sides for a breeze. ;-)
There will be a war, then. I've kept an old high-flow flush toilet here in my shotgun shack, and won't give it up while I live and breath.
There's a battle rifle leaned in the corner near it to be handy for protecting it.
This whole article is BS. Just another attempt by women to get we men to put the seat down.
With a sign over it, A good flush or die!
They should design hospital toilets so they can’t be flushed without the lid being closed or someone still sitting on the toilet?
Aha! A toilet expert. Very interesting information in your comment. Are you a plumber, engineer, or just a smart guy?
I don’t think this is news — powers that be (and various TV doctors and such, as well as every nurse I’ve had occasion to ask) have said, put the lid down before flushing, to prevent pumping contagions into the air via water vapor. Thanks Pining_4_TX.
Si difficile, then try harder.
actually, there is a workable, patented, odorless toilet that was on bob vilas show. it has exhaust intake coming through the vent holes under ‘the user’ and routed directly into the sewer. no special construction required. just install it lime normal.
1.6 gal flush as well I understand
damn iPad auto correct
I stick with my Ferguson, the Stradivarius of toilets.
Any one with the money should step up to this technology.
Just was reminded on another forum (USENET, alt.callahans)
that lower temperatures for hot water heaters may
facilitate bacterial, etc. growth. Add that to the list.