Thursday, February 11, 2016

Clearly Living Dangerously

There could be more bacteria on your toothbrush than on your toilet seat!

If that's not upsetting, possibly even stomach-churning, then I don't know what is! 

When I first got wind of that statement, I deemed it both unlikely and hard to swallow, but Dr Gerry Curatola told Fox News, if you keep your toothbrush within six feet of a toilet, it could be infested with fecal matter!

Thanks for sharing.

Susan and I went to CAA around Christmas time to pay our yearly membership. We happened to notice they sold toothbrush covers and that sparked a family discussion that blossomed into wickedly delightful enlightenment once my son and his girlfriend began chiming in with helpful information they gleaned from the internet.

They pointed out every time a toilet flushes, it releases an aerosol spray of tiny water droplets that contain microscopic fecal matter and, to some degree, it covers everything within a certain distance of the toilet bowl!

Good to know.

To be honest, I find discussions like these slightly squirm-inducing.

I’d much rather wave my hand to activate the “Sound Princess”! It's a device that masks the cruder sounds that may or may not be generated by human bowel movements. I'd rather that, than share any of my alleged noises with others who happen to be in a public bathroom at the same time. One 2003 article suggests the “Sound Princess” was designed in 1988 for embarrassed Japanese women. The device is used in Japanese bathrooms to simulate the sound of water flushing, and is available in a portable version, referred to as Keitai Otohime in Japanese.

Me, clearly living dangerously
The helpful ingenuity doesn’t stop there.

In 2001, a Colorado man invented airtight underwear with a replaceable charcoal filter to remove bad smelling gases caused by flatulence. They’re called Under-Ease.

Three cheers for him!

Some ingenuity is far more questionable, like the Japanese lab in 1993 exploring possible solutions to an eventual food crisis, by turning sewage into an edible, high-protein meat substitute.

A 1996 conference of hundreds of scientists and doctors in Panjim, India, might require a fierce adjustment in our thinking. They were discussing human urine as a potential cure for a host of killer diseases. Doctors involved in that research claim urine contains hormones, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that can cure illnesses, from heart disease to cancer.

Last March, a British Airlines flight from London to Dubai turned around because of the stink coming from the airplane bathroom! The article says the feces was described by one passenger as liquid in consistency. One scientist commenting on the story pointed out odor molecules entering your nasal passages are not as harmful as pathogens flying through the air. The bad stink doesn’t pose much risk for transmitting disease. Gastroenterologist Jean-Pierre Raufman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine admits, “It’s obviously offensive and difficult for folks on the airplane,” but, he points out, “usually the risk comes from ingesting the bacteria, not inhaling them,” which bring us back to toothbrushes.

Dr. Curatola contends in a March 2014 article that covering toothbrushes with plastic covers is one of the most dangerous methods of storage because the plastic containers “act like petri dishes and grow viruses and bacteria inside them”. He recommends a fabric toothbrush shield. He also says normal toothpaste has zero impact on the bacteria sitting on your toothbrush bristles.

That is disappointing. It would have been nice to hear the toothpaste at least neutralized any negative properties contained in the bacteria.

Call me lazy. I have made a conscious decision not to make a decision but, instead, to continue doing what I’ve been doing, clearly living dangerously.