When you go into a stall in a public restroom, do you automatically pull one of those tissue seat covers out of its container and meticulously make sure that all the seat is covered? Or if there are no paper covers, do you assume “the situation” because you do not want any part of you to touch the seat? Most of us do this, because we grow up being told of the germs that lurk on the seats of public toilets just waiting to claim us as their next victim. It really does seem like a hassle to go to in order to use the toilet, but the necessity has been ingrained into us almost from birth. Have you ever wondered, though, if those seat covers are really providing you with any protection?

Doctors will be the first to tell you that it's okay to go ahead and sit down without using a tissue cover. That's because germs that cause STDs do not survive living on toilet seats. Just think about it. How many people do you know who have actually been infected from sitting on a toilet seat? The inventor of those paper covers was a really clever moneymaker in that all he's made his millions selling all these years is peace of mind. You can go ahead and keep using one if it makes you feel better, but you really are not accomplishing anything by doing so. Yes, thousands of bare behinds have sat on that same seat, but there's nothing contagious about any of them.

Medical professionals say that there are far greater dangers in public restrooms than the toilet seats. Anywhere that lots of people touch, such as door handles, faucets, and stall locks, are sure to be loaded with germs. This is one of the reasons that modern restrooms have features such as walk-in hallways that do not require opening any doors and motion-sensitive flushing and water faucets that you do not have to touch to operate. These devices were designed to help eliminate sanitation problems in public restrooms.

There was an interesting study conducted at the University of Arizona. In that case, microbiologists conducted examinations comparing the bacteria on telephone receivers to those on toilet seats. They found that the average receiver contained 25,000 bacteria per square inch. Toilet seats, on the other hand, only had 49 bacteria in the same amount of space. Amazing statistics, yet how often have you ever put a protective paper cover over a phone's receiver?