Just how bad are Colorado’s public toilets?  Terrifying, CU Boulder researchers say | VailDaily.com

Just how bad are Colorado’s public toilets?  Terrifying, CU Boulder researchers say

CU Boulder researchers use lasers to light up bacterial plumes emanating from every bowl flush

Michael Booth
The Colorado Sun

Apologies in advance: After reading this story and clicking on the accompanying multimedia horror show, you may never use a public restroom again. 

At least not until somebody invents an impermeable toilet lid with an unbreakable seal.

You see, intrepid and iron-stomached researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder are using laser light and green dye to show the cloud of aerosols that erupts when you flush a high-powered public toilet. 

It’s almost beautiful. But it’s definitely not pretty. 

Toilet plumes emit a cloud at once putrid and pathogenic. The CU researchers are not just gunning for special effects jobs on the next “Saw” franchise installment, though it’s a good audition tape. They hope the alarming images will help nudge public health officials and seasoned plumbers to design better ventilation, pipes and water flow to contain the noxious clouds.

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The toilet-launched particles exit the bowl atmosphere at a rate of 6.6 feet per second, reaching just under 5 feet high in 8 seconds. The smallest droplets, one-millionth of a meter in diameter, can stay in the air for long minutes. 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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