New study finds coronavirus particles could be carried by ‘toilet plume’ when flushing

Close the lid before flushing, or risk expelling thousands of tiny particles containing coronavirus more than three feet into the air, a new study published Tuesday warns.

Physics researchers in China used computational fluid dynamics to show that a standard toilet flush can expel 40 to 60 percent of the aerosol particles in the bowl, which can then hang in the air for several minutes.

Published in the journal Physics of Fluids, Tuesday’s study found that a flush creates “airflow vortices” in the toilet bowl that can eject thousands of particles far above the seat. Computer simulations showed that particles continued to climb more than a minute after a flush.


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