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Always close the lid when you flush the toilet, experts warn

In ancient China, scientists used to believe in a concept called feng shui, pronounced ‘fung shway’, or the power of natural energy around us, known as chi.

According to the laws of feng shui, water has a way of drawing in energy and can even pull your wealth in as well, and that’s why water should always be covered.

Author and feng shui expert Lillian Too therefore urges us to keep our toilet lids closed or risk seeing our money literally go down the toilet.

READ MORE: Changing your pooping posture could help bowel health – and give you an hour back per week

But there is a more scientific explanation as to why you should keep your toilet lid closed, especially when flushing.

A 2015 update on the 1975 study from the ‘American Journal of Infection Control’ has warned that toilets can actually become a pool for airborne viruses and infections that can be propelled into the air when the toilet is flushed.

The study says: "Contaminated toilets have been clearly shown to produce large droplet and droplet nuclei bioaerosols during flushing.”

The study adds that plumes of droplets emanating from toilets when they are flushed could play an important role in the transmission of infectious diseases including norovirus, SARS and pandemic influenza.

Researchers writing for the Physics of Fluids science journal have also warned that toilets could “become dangerous if used improperly” after they found Covid-19 particles in tiny aerosol droplets which could be propelled 3ft into the air.

These particles could be breathed in or land on bathroom surfaces including your toothbrush and towels.

Speaking toToday Home , microbiologist Dr Janet Hill explained: "The bigger droplets and the aerosol likely don’t travel very far above or around the toilet, but very tiny droplets could remain suspended in the air for some time.

"Since the water in the toilet bowl contains bacteria and other microbes from faeces, urine and maybe even vomit, there will be some in the water droplets. Every gram of human faeces contains billions and billions of bacteria, as well as viruses and even some fungi."

But on the bright side, Dr Hill said the chances of getting an infection from toilet aerosols is “really, really low,” adding the vast majority of microbes in human urine and faeces are “completely harmless — and actually beneficial.”

She continued: “If you were using a toilet that had also been used by someone with a nasty infection, like, say, they had diarrhoea from salmonella or campylobacter infection, then the water might contain a very tiny number of these organisms.

“But in order to actually get infected, you would have to ingest bacteria that were still alive and ingest them in sufficient numbers to cause an infection.

“Bacteria won’t survive indefinitely in toilet bowls or on toilet surfaces, and getting the bacteria on your skin or clothes doesn’t mean that you will ingest it, and so you wouldn’t get infected.”

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