The effect of toilet lid closure during flushing in reducing the amount of bacterial aerosols

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

The effect of toilet lid closure during flushing in reducing the amount of bacterial aerosols

 

Author: Lee, Yung-yung
Title: The effect of toilet lid closure during flushing in reducing the amount of bacterial aerosols
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Toilets -- Environmental aspects.
Bacteria.
Aerosols.
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: vii, 74 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2305501
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4451
Abstract: The effect of toilet lid closure in reducing the amount of bacterial aerosols generated during flushing is still controversial. The purposes of this study are i) to explore the practice of participants with regard to toilet lid closure during flushing. And ii) to determine whether closing the toilet lid during flushing can reduce the amount of bacteria that settles on surfaces at different locations within the toilet cubicle 1 minute, 15 minutes and 60 minutes after flushing. A survey was done in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University by interviewing 50 participants. A series of experiments was done in a domestic washdown toilet. 1010 CPU of Serratia marcescens was seeded into the toilet to mimic the effect of acute diarrhoea, the number of bacteria that settled on nutrient agar plates during flushing was enumerated. In the survey, about 50-78% of the respondents never or seldom put down the lid before flushing. The experimental results showed that closing the toilet lid during flushing was not effective (p=0.392) in reducing bacterial aerosols. Location within the toilet cubicle was found to be significant (p<0.001) for bacterial counts. The highest bacterial counts were recorded on the toilet seat while the lowest bacterial counts were found in the door knob. There was no significant difference in the amount of bacterial aerosols between 1, 15 or 60 minute(s) after flushing (p=0.822). The majority of the respondents never or seldom put down the toilet lid in the survey. Keeping the toilet lid open instead of closed is preferred due to an increased amount of bacteria found at the toilet seat when the lid is closed. Risk of infection will increase if users touch on the lid. Placement of toiletry items is suggested to keep as far away from the toilet as possible. User has the same risk of infection from 1 minute to an hour after flushing.

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