Covering a toilet seat in paper is not as safe as you think

If you like to cover toilet seats with paper before using a public restroom, you might not be as clean as you think.

According to public health experts, seat covers cannot stop germs from getting to you.

Since toilet seat covers and toilet paper are absorbent, they have relatively large holes that will not stop tiny bacteria and viruses from passing through, according to Kelly Reynolds, a public health researcher at the University of Arizona.

The good news is that you're not likely to catch an infection from a toilet, so you can totally eliminate seat lining from your public restroom routine.

Germs are far more likely to spread after you flush, as waste blasts into the air in aerosol form. This is called "toilet plume."

That's where the "bits of fecal matter settle on surfaces, contaminate hands and then get spread to the eyes, nose or mouth," according to Reynolds. So don't stop washing your hands!

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