Restrooms not as unhealthy as you may think

Toilets at your home are not as unhealthy as you may think, finds a study.

New York: Toilets at your home are not as unhealthy as you may think, finds a study.

In the study, the team from San Diego State University in California analysed the abundance of the microbial community on floors, toilet seats and soap dispensers.

“We hypothesised that while bacteria would be dispersed rapidly due to toilet flushing, they would not survive long as most are not good competitors in cold, dry, oxygen-rich environments," said corresponding author Jack A. Gilbert.

“As such, we expected the skin microbes to take over - which is exactly what we found,” he added.

Samples clustered vaginal bacteria from ladies' toilet seats while the gut-associated bacteria were more copious on toilet seats in men's rooms.

Ultimately, skin and outdoor-associated bacteria group comprised 68-98 percent of cultured communities with foecal group representing just 0-15 percent of these.

"A key criterion of of healthy or unhealthy might be the presence or relative abundance of pathogens. Restrooms are not necessarily unhealthy but classifying them as healthy would not necessarily be accurate,” Gilbert noted.

The research will likely help in building restrooms and buildings generally that are healthier for humans, he said.

The research was published online in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.