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Is Drinking Toilet Water Bad For You?



Short answer

Toilet water can be extremely harmful to your health and should only be consumed in the case of an extreme emergency.



Long answer

Most people would never consider putting their lips or mouth anywhere near their toilet. However, whether or not drinking toilet water is bad for you is a question which many have considered. Some of these curious individuals are concerned pet owners who nervously observe their cat or dog's daily ritual of lapping up toilet water, while others are avid planners looking ahead to potential future emergencies that might cause clean water sources to become scarce.

The truth is, the water that fills up your toilet bowl comes from the same place as the tap water which is released from your sink, shower, and bathtub. Most people don't think twice about sipping some water from the bathroom sink in the middle of the night and almost everyone uses the tap water from their shower or bathtub to wash themselves each morning.

Therefore, the problem with consuming toilet water does not stem from the water in the toilet, but rather from the toilet itself. Body waste is consistently released into toilet water and, even though the toilet is flushed after each use, residual bacteria can stay behind in the standing water in the bowl. The consumption of this bacteria can cause health problems such as E. coli, severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, and skin infections. Furthermore, even if you clean your toilet extremely often, drinking the water is still not safe. Many cleaning products commonly used to disinfect toilets include toxic chemicals which can be extremely harmful to your health.

If you must drink toilet water in an extreme emergency situation, it's best to drink the water from the tank at the top of the toilet rather than the bowl, as that water has not been contaminated with body waste and cleaning chemicals.

Possible short-term side effects

  • skin infections
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea

Possible long-term side effects

  • illness

Ingredients to be aware of

  • bacteria
  • cleaning product chemicals
  • metal particulate

Big is drinking toilet water bad for you 2

Healthier alternatives

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Written by Shaylie F | 12-29-2015

Written by Shaylie F
Suggest improvement or correction

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