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Thread: health hazards from "toilet plume" aerosol

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  1. #1
    DIY Member Alan Muller's Avatar
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    Wink health hazards from "toilet plume" aerosol

    It's no secret that toilets produce a plume of fine aerosol containing fecal bacteria, etc, that could be a health hazard.

    http://home.families.com/blog/toilet...aerosol-effect

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1839

    I never gave this much thought until I put in a Toto about ten years ago--don't know exact model. If flushes very well, but there is a lot of agitation and some splashing of the bowl contents.
    Must be a builder grade CST703 with washdown bowl.
    The siphon jet Toto bowls don't do that.
    We need a couple of toilets and would like to choose ones with a less agitated flush, that hopefully would spew less aerosol.

    Has anybody compared toilets from this point of view? Suggestions?

    Interesting article: http://www.poopreport.com/intellectu...ic_toilet.html

    Thanks,

    am
    Last edited by Terry; 10-31-2009 at 04:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If you can find some of the old Kohler 1 peice toilets some of them are super quiet...

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Well, I understand the premise. But what I don't understand, given that we have had indoor toilets for about 100 years.....why aren't we all dead!

    Sometimes we just shouldn't try to over-think a problem.

  4. #4
    DIY Member Alan Muller's Avatar
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    Default We need to keep learning.....

    Well, yes, I had the same thought myself.

    But on the other hand, we had lead paint, leaded gas, mercury, DDT, no seat belts, and other stuff few would accept now. We aren't all dead, but some of us and our kids have been harmed by these once-accepted products. Don't we need to keep learning....?

    Seems to me the current generation of toilets, back to siphon jets and some swirl in the bowl, are a lot calmer in action. Does this really make a difference in their plumes? I don't know but the subject seems interesting.

    am

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    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Alan, my suggestion for determining whether or not a toilet has an aerosol issue is to sit on it (sans britches) while flushing. This is akin to doing a courtesy flush. If it wets your backside, then there is an aerosol issue.

    My first new EcoDrake with Sanagloss passed this test with flying colors (guess I need to repeat on the other two.) It has good, even bowl wash and the flush action is a quick suction of the material from the bowl. There is some noise and agitation as some air siphons through the seal at the end of a flush, but it soon reestablishes the seal. Since it isn't misting my rear I'm not inclined to believe there is much aerosolization occuring.

    The aerosol concern is a long standing one extending back at least a decade (perhaps two.) I remember at least that far back reading about how toothbrushes should be kept as far away as possible for this very reason. This is one reason for separating the toilet from the rest of the bath.

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    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Why not just make it a habit of closing the bowl before flushing, though I personally like to see the swirl.....maybe I'm a sicko. If the black helicopters are real close, you could design a seal for the lid/seat area so flushing is a sealed matter.
    Matt
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    Enjoying life in SW Florida

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Muller View Post
    It's no secret that toilets produce ... fecal bacteria ....
    I'd like to design a toilet with always-smooth water so it holds fecal critters under water.

    Do you all realize that 99% of toilets have an S trap in them?
    This is compensated for by adding water during and after the flush.
    S traps with a big turbulent flow (like in toilets) are not good at holding a seal.
    They let the critters in your sewer float back up into your face.
    So, in addition to your own intestinal digestive production, you can get input of new bacteria from the outside world. (!?!!?!!!)

    I have wall hung toilets.
    Wall mounted toilets are rear discharge.
    They are P traps not S traps, on a Geberit wall carrier.
    Each one has a different bowl.
    Bowl design determines a lot of the noise, splash and open air

    - I think we have a few more centuries to go before we get it right.

    They give awards for design, without even connecting the bowl to a working
    carrier and flushing it.

    Centuries from now, human civilization will look back at this and laugh their heads off.

  8. #8

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    Centuries from now we might not need toilets, our bodies may continue to evolve.

  9. #9
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    The toilet seat should always be closed before flushing so nothing gets airborne and lands on toothbrushes etc.
    That's what Dr. Oz says.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Centuries from now we might not need toilets, our bodies may continue to evolve.
    So your saying centuries from now people will be full of crap....

    I think if you look around it's already starting.

  10. #10

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    Our bodies adapt to situations, less food to eat, why the need for that part of the body?
    Yes, we are full of crap, lol.

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    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peanut9199 View Post
    so your saying centuries from now people will be full of crap....

    I think if you look around it's already starting.
    ^^^^lol....
    Matt
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  12. #12

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    I was quoting a line from a science fiction writer Matt, but who knows, eh?
    Our bodies have changed, each generation we get taller, some of us get smarter, and in the winter we adapt to our climate if winter by gaining weight... plus, numerous other changes, but, I was using a line from a writer, Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

    ^^^^ yes, full of crap. lol.

  13. #13
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Centuries from now we might not need toilets, our bodies may continue to evolve.
    Too esoteric a reference.

    Those alive centuries from now may have evolved to be able to hold it until outside. Perhaps they'll get their cue from a commonly accepted source indicating when it's time. How's that for a concept? Who would have thought it was possible?

    Getting back to serious, let's agree that the visual effect of a toilet bowl isn't a good criterion to use....
    BUT I have an award-winning bowl attached to the wall carrier.
    It won its award designation based on its look and nothing else.

    Go figure. Humans are visual addicts. Just like dogs are with smell, humans want to have stuff that looks. Truth, yes, but above all it has to have a look that we agree is good.


    -

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Mythbusters just did a test on that very thing, but I have not looked at the recording to see what they found out yet.
    I saw that episode.
    They found fecal matter everywhere in the house.
    Most of it at the kitchen sink.

    They concluded it was nothing to worry about.

    Is it on your toothbrush?
    Last edited by Terry; 11-02-2009 at 02:23 PM.

  15. #15

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    One reason why Terry is because some people, won't wash their hands, and if you ever watched a kid wash their hands, it can be useless. So, they go to the bathroom and then, go to the kitchen get something to eat, they carry the matter everywhere they go. I seriously, think a study should be done testing the steering wheel that would be amazing!

    And, just imagine, how many people eat while driving... yuk. Can you imagine the germs on that steering wheel? Especially in the summer heat.

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