The words “sanitary” and “toilet seat” really don’t seem to go hand in hand. Sanitary means to be free from anything that can pass a disease or an infection, a toilet seat does not seem to pass the test.
However, there is an ongoing debate as to whether germs that you may pick up in a public restroom come from the seat or not, many people believe that the flush handle and even the faucets of the sink are dirtier and carry far more germs than any toilet seat ever will.
STDs and viruses cannot live very long outside the host body so even if there was a transmission of a virus from one person to the toilet seat, the chances of it being alive when the next visitor sat down is rare, and then to top it all off, the individual would have to have an open sore, a virus will not transfer through healthy skin.
Many public restrooms provide paper seat covers to their patrons so that they may attempt to have a sanitary toilet seat, but they really are of very little use as they are thin paper, if anything would help it would be that the covers were made from plastic, not much can get through that.
Although they may not do much for sanitation, I suppose they have a couple of benefits. We all know that a toilet seat is cold; perhaps the thin paper can somehow speed up the warming process. It’s not much of a benefit but it’s better than nothing. The other advantage is strictly psychological, if a paper toilet seat cover makes you feel safe then it is good.
The biggest issue with toilet seats in public rest rooms is the possibility of fecal matter and urine remaining on the seat, a paper toilet seat cover is not going to protect you, they are so thin that any foreign matter like that will soak straight through upon contact. The only possibility is to cover the entire seat with plastic, and this is possible.
Brill have developed an automatic sanitary toilet seat cover that engages when you enter the stall. As a user, all you have to do is wave your hand in front of a sensor and a thin plastic tube rolls from one cartridge to another, completely encasing the seat in a plastic cocoon; yes, truly a sanitary toilet seat, now the words make sense.