After you use the restroom and reach for the handle to flush, do you stop and make sure to close the toilet lid first?
Well, after learning about this new research conducted by engineers from the University of Colorado Boulder, you might never be able to flush the same way again.
The team of engineers, led by professor of hydrology John Crimaldi, launched a study surrounding the “spray” of commercial toilets and what they found would send most germaphobes into a panic.
Every time a commercial toilet is flushed, a Vesuvius-like cloud of aerosol particles and tiny droplets are released from the bowl– reaching over five feet above the toilet seat.
Now, this plume of microparticles is invisible to the human eye. However, when the engineers illuminated a flushing toilet using green lasers, what spewed out basically resembled a puff of microscopic confetti.
And even though the team only flushed toilets that contained clean water, we know that is not the case in virtually all commercial restrooms.
“We all were astonished. I said, ‘Oh my god, that’s what happens?'” Crimaldi recalled his reaction to the discovery.
As a professor of hydrology, he is an expert on fluid mechanics. In other words, how water and air transport other materials that flow along with them.
In the past, Crimaldi has studied how animals interpret odor particles traveling through the air to gather information and analyzed the various ways ocean currents distribute reproductive agents to fertilize corals.