Kohler cites a USA Today poll that shows 79 percent of Americans believing that diseases can be transmitted by sitting on toilet seats. The belief is erroneous--"We don't take a position on it," [the Kohler dude] says--but the fear is bankable.
"researchers say that of all the areas in a bathroom, the toilet seat is probably the least germ-infested.... Experts say catching any venereal disease ... is highly unlikely. And you are more likely to encounter common bacteria like E. coli and cold viruses on a faucet than on a toilet seat. Failing to wash your hands after touching a flush handle, faucet, or doorknob poses a far greater health threat than sitting on a toilet, experts say. Women's bathrooms have twice as many germs as men's, a 1997 study found, as a result of heavier traffic and diaper stations. A study earlier this year found that office workstations, because they are rarely disinfected, contain an average of 400 times as many germs as toilet seats."
Paper toilet seat covers FEAR: That you can catch a disease by exposing your skin to a dirty toilet seat. FACT: Bacteria have not been shown to grow on toilet seats, so contact "poses very little risk of transmission" of diseases, according to colorectal surgeon Bruce Orkin of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. WHAT'S SPENT ON PRODUCT: More than $20 million worldwide.