Brushing your teeth may be a simple daily routine to ensure good dental health, but a hygiene expert has now warned you could actually be risking your health is you keep your brush close to your toilet.
Paul Mangold, hygiene expert with leading Australian firm Fantastic Services, has revealed the prevalence of “poo particles” on toothbrushes left too close to the loo and how it’s making many people seriously ill.
The expert warned that flushing the loo without closing the lid could lead to a potential risk of severe gastrointestinal illness, claiming the “deadly bugs” can effectively fling up out of the toilet and onto the toothbrush.
“Every time you flush your toilet, poo particles are flung into the air,” he explained. “These bio-aerosols can be extremely harmful and the airborne water droplets are often contaminated with viruses and bacteria.
“And if you keep your toothbrush near your toilet, these potentially deadly bugs can land on the bristles before you put them straight into your mouth, twice a day.”
According to Mangold, toothbrushes are the “perfect breeding ground” for germs – with bacteria thriving in moist areas where they can grow and multiply.
“Research has shown that harmful particles can linger in the air for at least 30 minutes after each flush – and that they can disperse as far away as three metres from the toilet itself,” he said.
The hygiene expert’s comments are backed up by research from the University of Iowa which used a sophisticated particle-collecting machine, placed one metre away from a toilet, to measure the airborne matter both pre and post flush.
They found that flushing “significantly increased” the number of harmful particles sent airborne with the bio-aerosols still present in the air even when an empty toilet was being flushed.
More worryingly still, there was also no difference in particle concentrations over the course of the 30 minute sampling time – which suggests the matter could linger for far longer.
Mangold has expressed his concern over the research, especially in Australia where many bathrooms feature toothbrushes lined-up on a shelf above, or in close proximity to the lavatory.
“I think a lot of people are simply unaware of the dangers,” he said. “Because bacteria from the toilet spread to other areas of the room, it’s really important to clean all bathroom surfaces regularly to stop the spread of pathogens.”
Mangold added: “And make sure you replace your toothbrush every three months too in order to minimise the risks.”
Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.