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Author Topic: Would it stop infections spreading if the toilet bowl sealed when flushing?  (Read 2219 times)

Offline thedoc

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Tony Caruso asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I am developing a toilet lid that closes under the toilet seat.The new innovation seals off the bowl from the environment when one flushes.I would like to know if there may be a problem with this solution to toilet flush spray.

Regards
Tony.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 17/01/2014 03:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline CliffordK

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You've already been exposed to pretty much everything that gets flushed down your home toilet, and thus the risk is minimal.

Most fecal borne diseases are spread "fecal-oral", and not via aerosol contact to the skin, although there is always the risk of getting something on yourself, then transferring it to the hands and to the mouth.  Good hygiene is appropriate. 

Spray is minimized by stepping back before flushing.  Perhaps an electronic flush on public toilets could have a delay built in.  As far as closing the seat cover before flushing, it may not be a bad idea, however, the next person to use the toilet may brush up against the cover once reopened.

As far as a cover under the toilet seat, it sounds redundant, and likely exposed to "germs".  An important part of "safety" is to dry out after use.  If a moist environment is maintained, it could be worse than the standard system.

As far as a "safety" toilet for public use, perhaps the safest would be the European style of two foot pads and a hole in the floor, although not popular with those Americans who are used to a throne room. 
 

Offline CliffordK

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I will say that there are self-contained-self-cleaning public restrooms in some places.  I wonder how they are with water and energy efficiency.

And, apparently the Germans came up with an automatic toilet seat cleaner
 

Offline alancalverd

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Check out yacht toilets. IIRC they have tightfitting lids because they are under the waterline and prone to all sorts of mechanical failure: I've never known one survive more than two days at sea. Some aircraft toilets use a vacuum flush and have a similar lid arrangement to prevent the entire payload ending up in the sewage tank - fortunately they are better engineered than their seagoing cousins.
 

Offline CliffordK

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In a boat or a trailer house there is movement of the system, and thus the sewer system needs to be sealed to prevent water splashing and coming back the wrong way.  Trailers are often also designed to minimize water usage, and waste water storage.

Your house doesn't move.  Virtually all modern toilets in houses use a water trap to seal the toilet from the sewer system.  Essentially when you flush, a siphon is created to void the toilet bowl, then trap is refilled with clean water for the next use, and to seal off the sewer lines.  There would be no need for a physical cover. 

The "Water Spot" varies a bit by country and toilet design.  Properly designed, and it may aid with keeping the toilet clean.  Some countries have more of  a shelf than a water spot which tends to get dirty quickly.
 

Offline syhprum

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The Arab style "hole in the ground toilets" are fine if you wear Arab or Scottish dress that can be tucked up but if you wear trousers they must be completely removed and put at a safe distance
 

Offline CliffordK

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The Arab style "hole in the ground toilets" are fine if you wear Arab or Scottish dress that can be tucked up but if you wear trousers they must be completely removed and put at a safe distance
I've used the hole in the floor toilets in Italy and Russia, and in the woods.  I don't think I've ever piddled on my pants when doing it.  Some of the places I've found those types of facilities, I would not be comfortable stripping.
 

Offline syhprum

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The ones I've used provided a water hose in lieu of a bidet which leads to the possibility of soaking ones trousers but all in all I quite like them if one is very careful with ones clothing.
The ones I really dislike are the German style where a platform is provided for inspection of faeces.
Of public facilitates the best are the Italian where bidets are fitted and the worst the American with their ridiculous auto plastic seat covers.
I have often contemplated getting a Japanese one with built in bidet but the cost is very high in the UK. 
 

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