They must be more people that skip washing their hands according to a new study at the University of Colorado published in the journal PLoS One. The new study found bacteria are plentiful on virtually every bathroom surface you might imagine touching – toilet handles, stall doors, soap and towel dispensers.
They tested both mens and womens bathrooms on a college campus and both had the same amount of germs. And the researchers found a wide variety of bacteria, even though the bathrooms were well maintained.
The germs were found everywhere from sink handles to towels, soap dispensers and toilets. Some toilet bowl handles had soil bacteria which meant some flushed with their feet instead of their hands. Gut bacteria – the type of bugs that live in the human gastrointestinal tracts – were found on the handles of bathroom exits, a giveaway that not everyone is following advice to wash their hands after using the toilet.
Toilet seats and most of the toilet handles were populated with gut microbes, “suggesting fecal contamination of these surfaces,” the journal PLoS One said, adding the contamination could have been the result of direct contact or water splashes when a toilet was flushed.
Will you be sure to wash thoroughly next time you use the public bathroom?