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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Public Toilet Seat Germs

I read about a study this morning that actually echoes results I have heard before...toilet seats get a bad rap! Most germs do not live long outside of the body first of all. Second of all if the toilet seats aren't wet then there won't be much in the way of germs on them. Third of all, the most germs are found on countertops and sink faucets.

So let's see what we can do to help decrease our problems in public toilets.

1. I know there are people who simply do not use public bathrooms...wow! I am amazed. We live 30-45 minutes from town depending where we are, and then there are the road trips we take. I am not sure how they manage, but kudos to them!

2. I know there are ladies who out of fear of sitting on toilet seats, actually pee standing up over the toilet seat. Now I hate to point fingers, but when I walk into a stall and there is pee on the seat, there is pretty much only one way it could have gotten there! By some standing up lass! If everyone would just sit down, that would take care of the fluid that leaves behind the germs. And come on ladies...isn't sitting down much easier? If you do sit down, many restrooms have the paper seats, that gives you added protection as long as the seat isn't wet. But if the seat is wet, the germs seep through! So let's concentrate on doing what we can to keep the seat dry. And as long as you don't have open cuts on your body parts that sit on the toilet seat, there is no way for the germs to enter your body (unless you are sitting with your private parts on the toilet seat itself and I can't imagine why anyone would to that!

3. Where are most of those germs? Why in the places where we go to wash our hands. So there are ways to get around that. You can get out your paper towel, turn on the faucet, not touch the counter, wash your hands, dry your hands on the paper towel, then use that paper towel to turn off the water. And hope that the handle to the door is clear of germs (but then you have to ignore the fact that most people turn off the faucet with their hands or that a good 25 percent or more don't wash their hands. And then there is the fact that a lot of bathrooms don't provide paper towels anymore (which is a good thing as it saves trees and mess in the restroom). But instead they have the heat dryer that in some cases is strong enough to cause ripples in the skin as it dries your hands.

If you are lucky and go to a more 'modern' public restroom, they are putting in sensor water faucets...when your hands are near the water comes on and sensor dryers or paper towels. These are very handy! You don't have to touch anything and there is less waste because the water and dryer are only running when your hands are in front of them. However, these modern and probably initially more expensive restroom fixtures, are not as likely to be found...so what to do?

4. A solution. Get Purell. Purell is an alcohol based solution that kills 99.99% of the germs. Carry the bottle in your purse. Use the restroom (remember sitting down spreads less germs if everyone is a sweetie and doesn't pee on the seatie!). Then leave the restroom. Once outside the door and away from the germy surfaces of sinks and door handles, slap on some Purell. You have saved water, saved trees, saved electricity and saved yourself from germ contact! What could be better????

I know this solution requires some money out of your pocket. But who do you think is paying for the fancy bathroom fixtures, the wasted water, the wasted paper towels? So let's start a movement, friends! It all begins with one...

7 Comments:

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Larry Bassett said...

For more than you might want to know about bathrooms and traveling go to
http://www.thebathroomdiaries.com/

This is a project that has taken off under the guidance of a Lynchburg resident, believe it or not.

Glad to hear that life goes on even if you could hardly tell from most of the local internet blog activity. LynchburgForums.com, my temporary hope for civil internet discussion, is down the toilet (so to speak) since the election. No activity whatsoever. Other local blogs just seem to generate little or no comment. I am getting a little tired of talking to myself and wonder regularly what I will do next.

All the talk about the city budget. Then the budget is adopted and, voila, no words at all. I guess a lot of people are just like me: easy to react to things but not so easy to actually initiate anything.

The "shocker" in the news: People kill people in wars. And sometimes it is not so nice. As a police officer once said to me, "Don't move or I'll blow your fucking brains out!" What would the thoughtful response be in that situation? Anyone remember My Lai? This is what happens in war ALL THE TIME. This is NOT an aberation; killing is what war is all about. Why are we shocked?

OK, back to toilet seats.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Larry Bassett said...

I did want to check out Purell. So I went to my bible for consumer advice:
http://www.consumerreports.org

They say antibacterial cleaners are problematic. BUT alcohol washes, like Purell, are good "to stave off infections in your home." So, I say thanks to CR for being there when I have a question about distinguishing between truth and advertising. But, I'll bet there is a generic brand that costs far less than Purell and has the same active ingredient! I do wonder about 99.99%, however!

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Larry, thanks for the links. I haven't had a chance to check out the bathroom diaries yet...Since I just ate breakfast, thought maybe I should wait a bit;)

I don't know why it is so hard to get people to comment! And I think lack of interaction does contribute to blogger burnout!

I was told by someone who read my post that she uses the Kroger version of Purell. So I will be looking for the Walmart version which will hopefully be cheaper yet:) And I have heard that the the antibacterial soap is something to stay away from, at home we use SoftSoap for that reason. They say the antibacterial ingredients are necessary (plain old soap and water do the trick) and they say it contributes to bacteria becoming stronger.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Larry, I just checked out the Bathroom Diaries Site! That is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Larry Bassett said...

"So I will be looking for the Walmart version which will hopefully be cheaper yet:)"

So you are not a believer in the WalMart-is-bad-people train of thought? Do they have their organic food there yet? Any word about that aspect of WalMart coming to Lynchburg?

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

I am not an anti-Walmart person. They have the best prices in town on a lot of items. And I can get a lot of my shopping done at one fell swoop and I am not big into shopping. I like to get it and be done, now going all over town to speciality stores looking for stuff. Just don't have the time or energy for it.

Having said that, I prefer to get groceries at Food Lion or Kroger. I get lost in the grocery section at Walmart and often can't find what I am looking for. And then the rudeness of people...I prefer to go to the Walmart in Bedford. A bit less crowded and people are usually a bit nicer there too.

Hadn't heard anything about the organic food. Do share if you hear more!

 
At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

big problem w/ the Purel thing: you use dirty hands to open it, and not everyone will remember to close and put away the bottle before smearing the sanitiser, so...uh...UGH.

 

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