Can we get diseases from foul bathrooms smell? This question has become relevant after a British Airlines flight that arrive to Dubai coming from London needed to turn around after being in the sky for 30 minutes. While most of the people would think that this could be due to some serious plane issues, like some kind of a terrorist threat or a bomb on the plane, it was actually caused by someone who left his/her poop in the bathroom until it gets stinky that some people started to complain. And again, the complaint was actually similar to the question this article started — getting diseases from inhaling bad bathroom smells.  

You probably have thought about the question raised above especially when your toilet at home gets some serious issue and you find your entire houses stinking. It so stinks that you need to call a septic tank service just to end the torturous feat of having to smell the odor wherever you are in the house.  

Why Does Stool Smell Bad? 

There are several reasons why a certain stool, from animals or humans, do give off some foul smell, and contrary to what people think, it is nothing correlated to serious reasons that cause diseases and illnesses it can cause to someone inhaling the smell. The following are the reasons of why stool can smell bad: it can be either too much medication has affected the gastrointestinal tract, leading to smelly stool, or some sickness such as inflammatory bowel disease, good allergies, cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, can change how a stool smell for worse, although these illnesses and diseases are not communicable through the air.  

If you are wondering why bad-smelling stool smell that way and affects your noise, here is the explanation of the process. When you smell something bad and foul, this just means that the air is filled with odor molecules that, in the case we have been discussing in this article, is coming out of the bathroom that gets into your nasal passages. However, inhaling these odor particles will definitely not transfer the bacteria or the viruses the stool has. Furthermore, odor particles are not similar to pathogens that fly in the air, causing different allergic reactions both to the skin and lungs. Viruses and bacteria need a certain amount of force in order to be transmitted from one host to another. This is the reason why serious viral diseases like Ebola are not airborne. The air cannot carry them t another host because the viruses are too big to float around the air.  

Reminiscing on what happened on the British Airlines flight that went to back to its route even after 30 minutes being in the air, the University of Maryland School of Medicines’ one gastroenterologist commented that although it was offensive and uncomfortable to the people in the plane to experience that, the news of infection and bacterial transmission through a smelling stool was actually a false claim.  

So next time you encounter the same circumstance, know that all you need to do is to get rid of the smell not because it imposes health risks but it just actually smells bad.