The Load of Indicator Bacteria of Sanitary Ware in Public Restrooms

일부 공중화장실 위생설비의 오염지표세균 조사

  • Received : 2014.02.12
  • Accepted : 2014.02.28
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of indicator organisms in essential sanitary ware in public restrooms. Methods: Twelve public restrooms were randomly selected. Samples at three locations (toilet seat, toilet flush handle/lever, and faucet handle) in the restrooms were collected with moistened-sterile cotton swabs and applied to media in order to determine aerobic colony count (ACC), total coliforms, and Escherichia coli. Results: Most of the samples taken in summer showed a higher level of ACC than those taken in winter (p<0.05). Female restrooms showed higher ACC levels on faucet handles and male restrooms on toilet flush handles/levers (p<0.05). Overall, faucet handles contained the greatest level of ACC, followed by toilet seats, whereas the least load was found on toilet flush handles/levers. The ACC level of samples in the restrooms in public parks, subway stations, and educational institutions varied. Total coliforms were identified in about 20% of toilet seats and faucet handles in male restrooms and faucet handles in female restrooms in summer. These locations were also the sites of positive results of E. coli isolation. Conclusions: The public restrooms were significantly more contaminated in summer than in winter. Overall, the most contaminated locations in the restrooms were toilet seats in male restrooms, and faucet handles in female restrooms. Poor hygienic status was indicated by the positive results of total coliforms and E. coli on samples from some sites. Therefore, sanitary control of restrooms should be improved. These results should be confirmed in a larger study that includes more public restrooms.


aerobic colony count;total coliforms;E. coli;sanitary were;public restrooms


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