A study by the Infectious Diseases Society of America found that malls, hospitals, office, department stores, restaurants, airports, and resort restroom cultures documented extensive bacterial contamination on all high touch surfaces. This included faucets, soap and paper dispensers, and door handles. Many had concentrations too high to count.
A microbiologist at the University of Arizona found that a public toilet paper dispenser had more than 150 times the amount of bacteria as the public toilet seat. The paper towel dispenser had over 50 times the bacteria of a toilet seat. Toilets can disperse microbes from 2 feet to 20 feet, depending on the force of the flush. The microbe population in a toilet remains until it is scrubbed off. At home, you can reduce the spread of germs by closing the toilet lid before you flush.