Flushing Public Urinals May Spread Coronavirus: Study

August 19, 2020
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    New research is highlighting the potential risks involved with using a public bathroom.

    new study has found that flushing a urinal can cause an “alarming upward flow” of coronavirus particles, reported the New York Post.

    The findings have led researchers to recommend people wear face masks while in in public bathrooms.

    Scientists in China found that COVID-19 particles from flushing a public urinal can shoot up to two feet in the air in less than 6 seconds. The study reported that the particles could potentially infect the person using the urinal.

    “Urinal flushing indeed promotes the spread of bacteria and viruses,” said Xiangdong Liu, one of the Yangzhou University researchers behind the study.

    “Wearing a mask should be mandatory within public restrooms during the pandemic, and anti-diffusion improvements are urgently needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Liu added.

    This latest study come after a team at Yangzhou University in China previously found that putting the toilet lid down before flushing may prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    A computer model showed that flushing causes a cloud of little particles containing fecal matter to get sent nearly three feet into the air after using the toilet.

    These fecal matter particles may contain the novel virus and may linger long enough for the next person to inhale or land on shared bathroom surfaces.

    “One can foresee that the velocity will be even higher when a toilet is used frequently, such as in the case of a family toilet during a busy time or a public toilet serving a densely populated area,” study researcher, Ji-Xiang Wang of Yangzhou University said.

    Not only is it possible for COVID-19 to potentially spread, but it’s also a breeding ground for other viruses such as norovirus, the researchers said.

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