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Title: Public toilets with insufficient ventilation present high cross infection risk
Authors: Lee, M. C. Jeffrey
Tham, K. W. 
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2021
Publisher: Nature Research
Citation: Lee, M. C. Jeffrey, Tham, K. W. (2021-10-18). Public toilets with insufficient ventilation present high cross infection risk. Scientific Reports 11 (1) : 20623. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Due to insufficient ventilation, public toilets present high risks for cross-infection. The study investigated 61 public toilets to identify the causes and locations of biological contaminated sources. Airborne and surface bacterial contamination, carbon dioxide concentration, and surface ammonia levels were measured. Both bacterial contamination and CO2 are higher in non-ventilated toilets compared to their ventilated counterparts. Bacteria colony forming units (CFUs) in a public toilet with poor ventilation can reach 5 times the number of CFUs outside of the toilet. This suggests that non-ventilated public toilets present a higher risk of cross-infection. Areas near all kinds of sanitary equipment (toilet bowls, squat toilets and urinals) were highly contaminated, indicating that enhanced cleaning regimes are necessary. Further, lidless trash bins present a higher risk as contaminated matter within the trash bins is not inhibited from being released into the environment. Ventilation and cleaning need to be improved to mitigate the risk of cross-infection in public toilets. © 2021, The Author(s).
Source Title: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-00166-0
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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