Sometimes, it just can’t wait till you get
home! But with the questionable sanitary state of public bathrooms, one has to wonder – should
you hover above or cover the seat with toilet paper? Are you really at risk of contamination? It may be surprising, but in a typical home,
your cutting board has around 200 times more fecal matter on it than the average toilet
seat. Even worse is the dish sponge, which has around 200,000 times more bacteria. And
while we’ve all seen our fair share of dirty public toilets, the truth is, if it passes
the site test and seems okay, it’s probably cleaner than most other objects in a bathroom. Regardless, your skin is designed as an excellent
barrier to microorganisms. Even though some bacteria such as E. Coli can survive on a
toilet seat indefinitely, if you don’t have an open sore near the it, or there isn’t something
foreign or sharp on the seat, the bacteria isn’t likely to get inside your body. And while placing a layer of clean paper on
the seat may reduce your contact with germs, it’s worth considering a few things. First,
the species of bacteria typically found on toilet seats are common skin microbes that
most people already carry, meaning they pose little threat unless you are immunocompromised.
And secondly, chances are, microorganisms are already over everything in the bathroom.
Seriously. Simply flushing a toilet creates aerosolized bacteria meaning that that toilet
paper itself is likely contaminated. The risk of infection comes most frequently
from improper hand washing, followed by touching your mouth, eyes, or other bodily openings.
If you’re that worried about germs and insist on wasting toilet paper for your toosh,
you should probably be in a biohazard suit, because either way, you’re being exposed. On the other hand, hovering over the toilet
is a perfect alternative if you’re grossed out, and gets a little workout in there as
well. Otherwise, sit with confidence, wash your hands, and when you’re done, waltz over
to that door and touch the handle that everybody who didn’t wash their hands touched too 🙂 Thanks to Audible.com for giving you a free
audio book of your choice at audible.com/asap. Audible is the leading provider of audiobooks
with over 150,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature. Check out ‘Think
Like A Freak’ which is by the same guys who made ‘Freakonomics’. You can download this
audio book or another of your choice, for free, at audible.com/asap. Then use their
free app to listen on your Apple, Windows or Android device. Special thanks Audible
for making these videos possible! And subscribe for more weekly science videos!