View Full Version : toilet aerosol
10-16-2001, 02:37 PM
I think I recall this guy. He said he never flushed in a public toilet by pushing the lever with his hand, just his elbow. Then, of course, he washes his hands. Well, I would welcome him into my home, shake his hand, and even eat food he made--but I wouldn't let him put his elbows on my table.
10-16-2001, 09:48 PM
I am curious about how important this is. Most people that I know don't follow any of these recommendations. Yet most of us go through our lives without ever getting particularly sick. Also recent studies in Germany of children who were raised in fairly antiseptic environments versus children who were raised on farms showed lower incidences of certain illnesses from the group of children who were raised with lots of exposure to microbes. These kids did have more minor ailments growing up, IIRC, but were less likely to have asthma and other more serious diseases later in life. The theory was that being exposed to microbes enabled the body to adjust its defenses.
10-17-2001, 04:53 PM
Indeed. In fact, hasn't the problem of overuse of antibiotics and antiseptics become a significant hazard (they wipe out the good bugs along with the baddies)? I was surprised that Cecil's article didn't touch on that point.
I'm sure a certain amount of fecal matter in your lungs is good for you!
10-17-2001, 05:52 PM
And here's the link to the column:
Petra en Paradiso
10-19-2001, 07:20 AM
I guess it's true about immune systems, that's true about anything else - you don't use it, you lose it.
The overuse of antibiotics and antiseptics causes problems because most of these substances don't wipe out every single bad bug. Enough bad bugs are almost always left over that they develop into a resistant strain. If lots and lots of people misuse antibiotics and antiseptics, then resistant strains develop that much faster.
And about germs on toilets - I read an article (sorry, can't remember where or when) that stated that research showed that the chance of getting any kind of bug from a toilet was actually pretty slim. Germs don't like inorganic surfaces like plastic or stainless steel and have such a short shelf life when left on such surfaces that they usually don't pose a threat. The best way to grow germs is to leave organic material lying around for them to feed on. So toilet seats only pose a danger if they are visibly dirty (basically).
I don't use antiseptics or germ-killing anything to clean my house. I use water to clean up food on my kitchen counters, dust off my shelves, etc. My house doesn't smell like chemicals and I'm not training any germs to resist anything. Of course I'm still exposed to germs, but I would be regardless of the cleaning stuff I used. I'm eliminating enough opportunities for germs to attack me, that they don't pose a significant threat, and presumably my immune system is still getting some exercise. (I'll admit I still use a toilet cleaner with bleach, but that's because I'm concerned about stains.)
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