Why Toilet Seat Liners are Useless
By Vanessa Palencia
I had the most memorable time on my trip to Europe last summer. However, of all the sightseeing and spur-of-the-moment trips I experienced, I remember my times in the restrooms the most.
As an American, I grew up believing that modern society installed toilet seat liners in every public restroom, but I was wrong. So wrong. I never once saw a toilet seat liner in the two weeks that I spent in Europe. I was just lucky if the toilet came equipped with a seat in general. But the lack of liners had me questioning whether they truly provided protection against infections and diseases like most people believe they do. I know that places like Paris aren’t necessarily categorized as third-world countries, so why do they choose to abandon the idea of toilet liners?
Because toilet seat liners are stupid and a waste of money. That’s why.
Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at The University of Arizona in Tucson, admitted that “most toilet seat covers are porous, one-ply pieces of tissue” that germs can penetrate. So unless you have a fresh wound on your butt, you won’t contract hepatitis B or other STD related illnesses.
However, LiveScience.com reassured us that “neither viruses like influenza nor the bacteria responsible for illnesses such as strep throat are dangerous unless they come in contact with the mucus membranes.” The only thing you can contract on a toilet seat is ringworm. Most diseases have a short life and cannot live once exposed to air; however, ringworm has a much longer life and is much more of a threat than other concernable diseases.
In fact, the use of toilet seat covers are purely to provide peace of mind to all of the germaphobes. But it probably doesn’t help that when you flush, the matter in the toilet can spray out and land on surrounding areas, including the toilet seat liners. Gross.
Thus, in order to avoid contracting any of the bacteria lurking around the toilet seat, make sure you wash your hands properly.