When you’re asked what the most vile, germ-filled thing you come into contact with regularly is, your answer probably includes restaurant booths, kitchen counters– or toilet seats.
And why shouldn’t it be?
Those slick porcelain seats leave much to be desired, most noticeably an aura of cleanliness that doesn’t need to be glossed over like one of those seat covers you inevitably end up using.
But do public toilet seats provide all of the health dangers you assume they do? Find out below.
Are Public Toilet Seats A Health Problem?
There are definitely a multitude of germs floating around public restrooms, including ones that carry copious amounts of harmful bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus that can make you sick. Still, the most common outcome is that they won’t be of dire danger to your health. That’s because toilet seats generally make contact only with the flesh of your bottom, which is resistant to most bacteria and viruses. The reason for this is because most bacteria need contact with a mucus membrane in order to cause infection.
And no, sexually-transmitted infections cannot breed rampantly from a toilet seat, experts continue to indicate— these viruses need a human host and can’t hang in there very long on external skin surfaces.
Regardless, it is still imperative to maintain proper hygiene after you use the restroom. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water. Even if you don’t come into direct contact with bacteria, your hands touch stall doors and flush handles before touching mucus membranes like your mouth and eyes, which make you more likely to spread germs and get yourself sick that way.
Wash your hands for at least a good 15 to 20 seconds after getting up from the toilet, because that is the minimum amount of time it takes to kill most bacteria. Shockingly, one recent survey indicates that a mere five percent of Americans wash their hands for that long or longer.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.