This just in: The bathroom, where from time to time you evacuate your bowels, is probably not the best place to keep your toothbrush. Well, at least not within close proximity to the porcelain throne.
Or so says the science.
University of Leeds microbiology professor Mark Wilcox tested the aerosolization of diarrhea-causing bacteria after flushing and concluded that an open-lid flush can send tiny fecal particles as far as 10 inches around the seat. Couple that disgusting discovery with an open window or fan, and you’ve got a shitstorm on your hands.
If you keep your toothbrush nearby, you run the risk of later ingesting these particulates, which can cause serious gastrointestinal distress, especially when bacteria such as e. coli are involved.
The best thing you can do to prevent a turd-covered toothbrush is shut the lid when you flush. It traps the aerosols in the bowl, consigning them to a watery grave. But as anyone in an office can tell you, not everyone who runs train on your toilet can be trusted to have great flushing etiquette. So when deciding where to store your toothbrush, think of your dookies like a nuclear bomb:
- 10 inches would be the blast radius; everything is vaporized.
- 6 feet represents moderate to severe damage, basically you’re asking for it.
- Outside of 6 feet is the green zone; you’re pretty much safe. Pretty much.
On second thought, just stick that sucker in your medicine cabinet.