After the toilet is flushed, the “atomized droplets” hang in the air

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Cara Murez
Health Day reporter

Thursday, April 22, 2021 (Health Day News)-If you are in a public toilet, you may not want to hang around for too long, because many airborne pathogens also hang out nearby.

Researchers from the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University conducted a flush test in a public toilet with a toilet and urinal.

The co-author of the study, Siddhartha, said: “After about three hours of testing, involving more than 100 washes, we found that the measured aerosol levels increased significantly… The total number of droplets produced in each wash test was as high as several Ten thousand.” Weimate is an assistant professor in the University’s Department of Marine and Mechanical Engineering.

Possible pathogens Ebola virus, Norovirus COVID-19 has been found even in stagnant water and water Pee, Feces and vomit. According to the research team, flushing can produce a lot of airborne bacteria, depending on flushing capacity, toilet design and water pressure.

carry on

In this study, the researchers placed a particle counter at different heights of the toilet and urinal to capture the size and number of droplets produced by flushing. They use covered toilets to do the same thing. (In the United States, there are very few public toilets with covers, and urinals without covers.)

Research findings have shown that water droplets for 20 seconds or more are detected at an altitude of up to 5 feet after the start of the flush.

When closing the lid before rinsing, the researchers found fewer droplets, but the number did not decrease. This indicates that the aerosol droplets escaped through the small gap between the cover and the valve seat.

Verma pointed out that both toilets and urinals produce a large number of droplets smaller than 3 microns, and if they contain infectious microorganisms, they pose a great risk of transmission.

Verma explained in the university press release: “Due to their small size, these droplets can remain suspended for a long time.”

The researchers report that the measured level of particles between 0.3 and 0.5 microns has increased by 69.5%; particles between 0.5 and 1 microns have increased by 209%; and particles between 1 and 3 microns have increased by 50%.

carry on

According to study co-author Masoud Jahandar Lashaki, “Over time, the accumulation of atomized droplets from a large number of flushing shows that even if there is no obvious insufficient airflow in the bathroom, the ventilation system cannot effectively remove it from the enclosed space. Cleared in China.” Lashaki is an assistant professor in civil, environmental and geographic engineering.

He explained: “In the long run, these aerosols may rise due to the updraft caused by the ventilation system or walking around the bathroom.”

The researchers pointed out that larger aerosols also increase the risk.

Manhar Dhanak, Chairman of Marine and Mechanical Engineering, pointed out that this study shows that “incorporating adequate ventilation in the design and operation of public places will help prevent high-occupancy areas such as public restrooms. The accumulation of aerosols.”

24 hours before the experiment, the toilet was deeply cleaned and closed, and the ventilation system was operating normally.

The report was recently published in the magazine Fluid physics.

Stella Batalama is the dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. She concluded: “Atomized droplets play a central role in the spread of various infectious diseases, including COVID-19. The latest research by our team of scientists provides further evidence to support the The risk of space transmission of infection.”

carry on

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus disease.

Source: Florida Atlantic University, press release, April 20, 2021

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