A Conversation for Reading in the Toilet

Toilet Microbiology

Post 1

BigAl Patron Saint of Left Handers Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Monobrows

'Tests have shown that flushing without a lid sends up a cloud of spray, invisible to the naked eye, a considerable distance away from the toilet (easily filling the volume of an average lavatory). The spray has the potential to contain a variety of viruses and bacteria, which will happily seek to eke out a wretched existence on the covers and pages of your books'.

Reminds me of a lecture given by the Safety Officer at my place of work once. (A world-renowned Microbiology institute).

At the time of his research he was working in the Aerobiology Section - I think, and they were interested in the generation of bacterial aerosols, particularly when dropping bacterial suspensions onto agar plates from a dropper pipette, prior to 'spreading' and culturing. As they were performing this technique they had additional open agar plates positioned at various distances concentrically to see how far the droplets could spread. This led directly to the development of microbiology safety cabinets.
An offshoot of this work (perhaps as a result of some lateral thinking, led to consideration of the potential for aerosol formation from a toilet.

They therefore performed the identical experiment by dropping a 'British Standard Turd' from various heights, and plotting how far the aerosol would travel.

I've seldom heard such raucous smiley - rofl as ensued within that lecture theatre!!!



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Toilet Microbiology

Post 2

BigAl Patron Saint of Left Handers Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Monobrows

PS Meant to say that this rresearch was instrumental in the concept of the vacuum-type 'Super Loo', which, I believe, is very popular in Japan.


Toilet Microbiology

Post 3

henryk206

The Super-loo that you refer to has in fact been around in this country for a great number of years under the guise of Clos-0-mat. This aid to personal hygiene was being used in hospitals where I works some twenty or so years age. The device incorporated the usual functions of a toilet along with a douche spray for cleansing the nether regions and rounding the experience off with a gentle blast of warm are to dry said region.
Unfortunately this devise was introduced into a female geriatric ward with disastrous results. As opposed to being a aid to patient care it was seen as an instrument of torture by the frail old ladies who could not understand how they were at there delicate age experiencing the warm moist feeling of their youth.
In the end they were removed and replaced by conventional sanitary appliances much to the relief of both patients and staff.
smiley - erm


Toilet Microbiology

Post 4

BigAl Patron Saint of Left Handers Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Monobrows

Yes, it could well have been 30 years ago that I attended the said lecture - I joined the Institute in 1970; and I guess the lecture was probably within my first 10 years there - and referred to work that was done some time in the past.


Toilet Microbiology

Post 5

The Apprentice

All sounds lovely!

smiley - weird

The Apprentice


Toilet Microbiology

Post 6

BigAl Patron Saint of Left Handers Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Monobrows

Yes, it was real (very) basic - but essential - microbiology smiley - scientistsmiley - smiley.


Toilet Microbiology

Post 7

zendevil


Please, please tell me more details of "The Standard British Turd"! Just what differences are there between turds in various countries? Fascinating piece of research that could be!

zdt


Toilet Microbiology

Post 8

BigAl Patron Saint of Left Handers Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Monobrows

Can't actually recall what the BST was. I don't think it was an actual turd. Probably a lump of plasticine moulded into the sape of a turd, and dropped into a toilet bowl containing a dilute bacterial suspension - probably E.coli. smiley - erm


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