Close the lid before you flush?

Photo:  Eljer Toilet Seats
A new study in the Journal of Hospital Infection evaluates what happens when a toilet that contains Clostridium difficile is flushed. Using air sampling and settle plates placed around the toilet, the investigators determined that the organism is aerosolized by the flush and could be found on most of the settle plates. Interestingly, if the toilet lid were closed prior to flushing, C. difficile could not be recovered from any of the settle plates. Unfortunately, hospital toilets typically don't have lids, and the investigators recommend that hospital toilets should be fitted with lids. However, this would mean that the undersurface of the lids would quickly become contaminated, which could also cause problems.

There's an old pearl bantered about by infectious diseases doctors that the world is covered with a thin veneer of stool. This study and the one I blogged about a few weeks ago surely provide proof of that.


  1. At least this information is actionable. I would imagine it is easier to wash a lid than an entire room or a patient's ventilator.

  2. A self cleaning lid would be a great way to help prevent the spread of it.


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