(NEWS.YAHOO) — Flushing the toilet with the lid up can spray diarrhea-causing bacteria into the air, according to a new study of hospital toilets.

Researchers from Leeds Teaching Hospitals in the U.K. detected C. difficile – a germ that can cause diarrhea and even life-threatening inflammation of the colon – nearly 10 inches above the toilet seat after flushing lidless hospital toilets. C. difficile is frequently found in hospitals and long-term care facilities were antibiotics are common.

“The highest numbers of C. difficile were recovered from air sampled immediately following flushing, and then declined 8-fold after 60 [minutes] and a further 3-fold after 90 [minutes],” the researchers reported in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.