New study says flushing urinals can also release clouds of c
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Flushing urinals can release clouds of virus-carrying aerosols which people may potentially inhale, according to a study which says wearing masks when in public washrooms amidst the COVID-19 pandemic “should be mandatorily implemented.”

The research, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, simulated and tracked virus-laden particle movements when urinals are flushed.

Researchers used a method of computational fluid dynamics to model the particle movement that occurs with the act of flushing.

According to them, flushing a urinal involves an interaction between gas and liquid interfaces, resulting in a large spread of aerosol particles to be released from the urinal.

The simulations revealed that the trajectory of the tiny particles ejected by flushing a urinal “manifests an external spread type, with more than 57 per cent of the particles travelling away from the urinal.”

They said when men use urinals within a public restroom, these tiny particles can reach their thigh within 5.5 seconds when compared to the toilet flush, which takes 35 seconds to reach slightly higher.

Since urinals are used more frequently within densely populated areas, the researchers pointed out that particles will travel faster and farther, posing a serious public health challenge.

“Wearing a mask should be mandatory within public restrooms during the pandemic, and anti-diffusion improvements are urgently needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” researchers added.

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