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Keeping toilets clean

Discussion in 'Health Issues' started by umasridharan, May 25, 2007.

  1. umasridharan

    umasridharan Senior IL'ite

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    Everyone knows the importance of routinely taking a bath or shower, brushing their teeth and cleaning their face and hands. But most people do not recognize the need for cleaning the toilets and bathrooms regularly. An average person visits the toilet 6 - 8 times a day -- 2,500 hours in a year. That means one spends about 3 years of one's life in the toilet.

    Take a trip to your toilet. Look at it with fresh eyes. Do the basins, urinals and bowls gleam? Are the walls and floors shiny? With water deposits, staining from use and chemical interaction, most fixtures make your corporate identity go down the toilet. Proper cleaning of toilet is a specialized work needing expert training and equipment.

    While the majority of microorganisms found indoors come from the outdoor environment, once they are indoors they are able to proliferate. All microorganisms have basic requirements for growth, needing high humidity, appropriate temperatures and appropriate physical and nutritional materials, all of which are frequently provided by the internal building environment.

    Growth requirements for most of these microorganisms are fairly similar. Temperatures between 25C and 45 C are optimal and anything beyond 70 C causes death to them. Other requirements for growth include ma relative humid atmosphere (greater than 80 %) or a moist or wet surface and the presence of a suitable, nutrient rich material, such as dust or dirt, on which reproduction may occur.

    An example is contaminated water coming in contact with rapidly moving air stream that picks up either small particles such as bacteria or small droplets of water itself (containing the bacteria), spraying them into the room. Areas of concern include bathrooms and flush toilets. The control of indoor microorganisms involves the elimination of sources as well as areas on which they are able to grow. By keeping indoor surfaces clean and dry and maintaining a relatively low humidity (i.e. below 50%) microbial growth can be prevented. Regular and thorough cleaning of appliances of possible risk will also contribute to this.

    Bacteria or fungi that have been deposited in the toilet bowl or on the seats can cause infection. Living on a dry surface means they are exposed to air and are either dead or too weak to infect people who are using the surface.

    Having access to unclean toilets has disastrous consequences for the spread of disease: some 6000 children die every day from diarrhea caused by a lack of proper hygiene, according to international statistics.

    "Excrement kills. It kills by the million" and is the leading cause of infection in the world, according to the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, a Geneva-based organization promoting cooperation in water supply and sanitation.

    Suppression of urination due to dirty toilets can lead to kidney and bladder diseases. In order to avoid visiting public toilets, some people refrain from drinking water and suffer dehydration.

    While it is true that urinals and toilets can be source of germs or infection, if used properly, one can make it unlikely that germs will be picked up. Let's take a look at teaching safe use of public toilets. The water contained within the bowls of every public toilet and urinal probably contains bacteria. So the first step in safe use of these facilities is to flush them both before and after we use them by doing so, the water into which urine or waste is deposited will atleast be clean and unlikely to splash germs onto the anal area of urinary tracts. <st1:place>Flushing</st1:place> after we finish is a courtesy for those who follow.

    Keeping diarrhea victims away from food areas stops spread. Not so, it takes 10 to 100 organisms of shigella sonnei to cause sickness. (Journal of infectious diseases 1991). Spread by the faecal oral route, toilets are an important factor. (Mon.Bull.Min.Health 1956). Besides which CPS Norman at the Public Health Laboratory has found that that the shigella organism is excreted on average for 17 - 29 days and sometimes for 18 weeks after infection is reported.

    The Public health Laboratory point out that vomit is a big factor often leading to rapid spread. Washing hands stops infection and food poisoning. Besides the obvious act of opening taps with unclean hands and closing them with clean hands, there are other hazards. Listeria pneumophilia is thought to be helped to grow in the sediment on taps and sinks by a water bacterium, Flavobactrium breve feeding it L-Cysteine (Wadowsky and Yee 1983) Water deposits and growths on taps, sinks and toilets are a nuisance and not a health hazard. Unsurprisingly they stop effective cleaning, actually protecting microorganisms from cleaning fluids; sometimes they react with bactericides making them less effective. (The Washington Food Processors Institute 1990). More worryingly, sediments seem to concentrate human enteroviruses. GD Lewis found that downstream from a sewage outfall, concentrations of enteroviruses were found 10 times higher in sediment that in the water. An antibiotic resistant E.Coli strain has been shown to transfer antibiotic immunity to another E.Coli as sediment let them exist in close proximity (Stewart and Koditscheck 1980). Similarly multiple drug resistance is thought to have developed in E.Coli and Staphylococcus aureus, through close breeding in sediment. (Vasconcelos and Anthony 1985). Aching limbs, headache, sniffing, fever and nausea indicate flu. Or so many sufferers and employers of mild hepatitis (B positive report) and <st1:City><st1:place>Norwalk</st1:place></st1:City> virus (Public Health Laboratory) believe. Simple day to day cleaning is good enough for toilets. Besides just looking, seeing if water forms large beads on surfaces is a test of cleanliness.

    Dysentery is another problem. Spread faster through wet bathrooms and unclean or wet toilet surrounding, will become an epidemic, which may lead to the closure of the organization.

    People who are tired and don’t perform for months are depressed, demotivated or lazy or have yuppy flu. Hepatitis can have just this effect without other obvious symptoms. Those affected can feel generally run down for more than six months. Hepatitis is rare and only spread through sex or needles. There are five main types if hepatitis; A, B, C, D and E. are mainly spread through faecal oral route. B,C and D mainly by blood and other bodily fluids including urine. Surgeons have spread Hepatitis B to patients (British Medical Journal 1985) and outbreaks of Hepatitis A can be caused by contaminated food. Hepatitis B is 100 -200 times more infectious than the AIDS virus and people who use the toilets used by those affected can be infected via any cuts or oozing boils in their body.

    As women menstruate and many people suffer anal bleeding (e.g. from Hemorrhoids) and there is often splash back, with the toilet bowl usually never fully cleared and there is some risk of infection.

    Courtesy of visitors, viruses and microorganisms are transported more surely then luggage. Nothing can be done. Only thorough maintenance can help/. Viruses and microorganisms are killed during the special cleaning. At the same time, the conditions, which encourage hazards, are removed. Having clean conditions also encourages better hygiene. Anti-microbial agents are useful in cleaning known sources but are not a long term solution unless environment changes also occur. Disinfectants, bleaches and phenols combat most infestations. However, these chemicals are themselves known to have adverse effects on human health. Treatment with ultraviolet (UV) lamps may be effective in controlling some bacterial contamination.


    "Developed in public interest by CLEAN ZONE"
     
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  2. akilaviswa

    akilaviswa New IL'ite

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    useful article. a must read for all
     

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