Sunday, January 14, 2007

Something else to worry about

Forget all the stand up comedy routines and bad sitcoms you've seen on the subject, the great toilet lid up vs lid down debate is over. Now this is apparently old news (I don't know why I'm just learning about it now) but when you flush the toilet, microscopic water droplets from the toilet are expelled into the air where they can hover as a mist for hours before eventually settling on other surfaces in the bathroom. This is completely true! University of Arizona environmental microbiologist Charles Gerba published a paper on it in 1975. Why a single toilet has been built without an automatic lid closer since then is someting the government needs to answer for. Think about it: you take care of your business, leave the lid up and flush your toilet which unleashes a cloud comprised of microscopic droplets of water marinated with your personal home brew that floats around your bathroom before eventually landing on the walls, the floor, the sink, the mirror, the toilet seat, whatever reading material you have laying around, and, oh yeah, YOUR TOOTHBRUSH and YOUR RAZOR. Now think about all the public facilities (I can no longer refer to them as restrooms) with multiple toilets that don't even have lids. Like shopping malls, movie theatres or sports stadiums. You've seen how those places are cleaned; they throw an orange traffic cone in the doorway for a few minutes, empty the trash and drag a filthy mop back and forth over the visible floor areas. This means in all likelihood that every public toilet facility is spackled in coat after coat (one for every flush from every toilet) of collected waste contaminants from the combined populace.

Don't even get me started on urinals.

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