Public restrooms present a significant risk to transmitting COVID-19, and not in the way you think, one study found.
The flushing of toilets and urinals can cause infected particles to fill the air of bathrooms, allowing it to be easily breathed in by the users, according to a study published by the American Institute of Physics.
“The result of the flushing causes a large spread of aerosol particles to be released from the urinal, which the researchers simulated and tracked,” said researcher Xiangdong Liu.
The study found that more than 57% of particles from toilets and urinals travel away from the source when flushed, becoming airborne and more easily breathed in, or stuck to surfaces.
Particles from urinals “show a more violent climbing tendency,” Liu said. “The climbing speed is much faster than toilet flushing.”