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Shortly after last week’s broadcast, a reader sent me a link to an article in a national daily newspaper that prompted an immediate post from me on Cleanzine’s Facebook page:
"Oh my word... someone's just sent me this article, which either represents poor journalism or genuinely echoes ridiculous advice to leave the toilet seat up when flushing! With traces of Covid-19 having been found in the faeces of people who've died from it, the centrifugal force created by flushing will cause potentially virus-carrying droplets to settle all over the bathroom. The advice to: "Leave the lid up to reduce the number of people needing to touch it to lift the seat up and down" has me wondering whether the expert wants us to flush with the seat down before lifting it for the next user, or whether he's telling us to leave it up while flushing. From this report I'm just not sure what was really said, but knowing the science I'm aware that the lid should be shut for flushing. The confusion amongst readers who don't know the science, could well cost lives..."
I never did get to the bottom of the writer's intentions, but reading through the readers' comments I realised I wasn't the only one confused by his words and that even more importantly, other readers aren't convinced that we should be flushing with the lid down.
This isn't a battle of the sexes thing but down to hygiene - important all the time but in these days of Coronavirus-related fears, even more crucial. I do hope the facilities that feel they've saved money/time and/or are providing more hygienic facilities by fitting toilets without any lids whatsoever, have a change of heart and bring their facilities up to standard without delay.
And although this industry is our work, the knowledge of the difference cleaning makes to our safety should be in our blood. If you come across anyone who thinks it's OK to flush with the lid up, please do have a word!
And talking of toilets, when are we going to see our public toilets opening up again and how are we going to keep them safe for everyone to use? Chatting to the British Toilet Association's Ray Martin at the height of lockdown I learnt that he's campaigning for important changes to be made to public toilet provision to promote confidence and prevent the spread of Coronavirus. These will be costly but I agree with Ray that something needs to be done as a matter of urgency since safe, hygienic public toilets are a basic human right.
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18th June 2020