A microbe-contaminated toilet will produce bioaerosols when flushed. We assessed toilet plume aerosol from high efficiency (HET), pressure-assisted high efficiency (PAT), and flushometer (FOM) toilets with similar bowl water and flush volumes. Total and droplet nuclei "bioaerosols" were assessed. Monodisperse 0.25-1.9-um fluorescent microspheres served as microbe surrogates in separate trials in a mockup 5 m3 water closet (WC). Bowl water seeding was approximately 1012 particles/mL. Droplet nuclei were sampled onto 0.2-umpore sizemixed cellulose ester filters beginning 15 min after the flush using open-face cassettesmounted on the WC walls. Pre- and postflush bowl water concentrations were measured. Filter particle counts were analyzed via fluorescent microscopy. Bowl headspace droplet count size distributions were bimodal and similar for all toilet types and flush conditions, with 95% of droplets<2 um diameter and>99%<5 um. Up to 145,000 droplets were produced per flush, with the high-energy flushometer producing over three times as many as the lower energy PAT and over 12 times as many as the lowest energy HET despite similar flush volumes. The mean numbers of fluorescent droplet nuclei particles aerosolized and remaining airborne also increased with flush energy. Fluorescent droplet nuclei per flush decreased with increasing particle size. These findings suggest two concurrent aerosolization mechanisms-splashing for large droplets and bubble bursting for the fine droplets that form droplet nuclei.
We take your privacy seriously. You can review and change the way we collect information below.
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
Cookies used to make website functionality more relevant to you. These cookies perform functions like remembering presentation options or choices and, in some cases, delivery of web content that based on self-identified area of interests.
Cookies used to track the effectiveness of CDC public health campaigns through clickthrough data.
Cookies used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on CDC.gov through third party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes by these third parties.