Vox reports on a study conducted by three physicians, comparing the amount of bacteria found on 120 elevator buttons and 96 toilet surfaces at three hospitals in Toronto, Ontario. The study discovered that between the two, toilets are actually cleaner.
But there's some good news: the kinds of bacteria the researchers found had "low pathogenicity," meaning they are unlikely to make people sick.
That doesn't mean they're not possible vectors of disease, however. "Patients remain at potential risk of cross-contamination because of the frequent use of these buttons by diverse individuals," the study authors wrote. "In addition, a visitor is more likely to come into contact with an elevator button or a toilet than with inanimate hospital equipment and may transmit organisms if interacting with inpatients."
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