select search filters
roundups & rapid reactions
before the headlines
Fiona fox's blog

expert reaction to study modelling aerosol transport from flushing a toilet and the potential role in virus transmission

A study, published in Physics of Fluids, reports on aerosol transport from flushing a toilet and the potential role in virus transmission.


Dr Bryan Bzdek, Research Fellow at Bristol Aerosol Research Centre, University of Bristol, said:

“This is a computational fluid dynamics study, where the fluid flows are modelled to estimate how far aerosol may transport after flushing a toilet. I am not an expert in this particular area of aerosol modelling, but the work seems to be thorough and the press release accurately reflects the science.

“This is a modelling study aimed at estimating aerosol transport from the toilet bowl into the room. The number of particles and their size distribution is estimated based on published literature reports. The viral load in fecal matter and the fraction of resulting aerosol containing the virus is unknown. Even if the virus were contained in the produced aerosols, it is unknown whether the virus would still be infectious; there is not yet clear evidence for fecal-oral transmission.

“The study authors suggest that whenever possible we should keep the toilet seat down when we flush, clean the toilet seat and any other contact areas frequently, and wash our hands after using the toilet. While this study is unable to demonstrate that these measures will reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, many other viruses are transmitted though the fecal-oral route, so these are good hygiene practices to have anyway.”


”Can a toilet promote virus transmission? From a fluid dynamics perspective” by Yun-yun Li et al was published in Physics of Fluids at 16:00 UK time on Tuesday 16 June.


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:


Declared interests

None received.

in this section

filter RoundUps by year

search by tag