‘Beauty Spots’ where to go when there’s nowhere to go? This week’s news on loos & no. 2s.

Getting out and about as lockdown eases. Illustration from the children’s book ‘All Animals Poo & We Do Too’ copyright Hendriksen & Hopson

Scoop the Poop. The past few weeks have seen more and more people out and about in the sunshine at parks and beaches. But at the same time public toilets have so far remained shut. This has led to a number of headlines highlighting the growing problem of ‘where to go when there’s nowhere to go’ and what’s subsequently been happening to these well-loved beaches and beauty spots. We’re used to the ‘scoop your poop’ signs and doggy doo’s bags and bins for our pets, but as for us humans? A more tongue in cheek sign at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, Canada recently served to highlight the issue, one that we felt needed to be discussed in this week’s post. Here’s that exact article by Jenny Yuen for The Toronto Sun in which she said, “Ten thousand people, no bathrooms, you do the math.” So we did – see below!

Facebook | Ira Samuel Cohen

Scoop on the Poop. To focus on one country as an example, the UK has approximately 9 million pet dogs. One in four households in the UK has a pet dog, and they produce 1,000 tonnes of poop a day, or 365,000 tonnes a year [Hansard UK Govt.] and that’s about 85,000 times as heavy as a Hippopotamus [The Measure of Things.] Now that your imagination is ignited… That would mean that in theory if the UK population still had to poop their average 4-500 grams a day outside [LiveScience] then at 68 million people, we would be depositing the equivalent weight of approx. 68 million adult Pandas of poop in the open each year. That’s without accounting for the use of tissue to clean up after, which would mean mountains of mess throughout the land and widespread disease. Fortunately for us that’s not the case, but remarkably it is still the case for 1/3rd of the world population.

To be in the Loop. This may seem rather abstract but it helps us to add a perspective on outside pooping, and also introduces the more serious and less publicised point that open defecation (rare in the toilet owning world), is a huge problem for over 1 billion people worldwide [WHO] that still have to ‘go outside.’ An even higher figure if you add those without access to basic sanitation or water, which brings the total to 1 in 3 people globally. Add to that the extraordinary number of diseases associated to this scenario and you may be surprised to learn that those diseases include; cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. According to the WHO diarrhoea remains a major killer (432,000 diarrhoeal deaths annually). So far 380,000 deaths have occurred worldwide from coronavirus. But, better water, sanitation, and hygiene could prevent the deaths of 297,000 children aged under 5 years ‘each year’ from said diseases.

The Big Necessity.‘ There are many resources you can access if you want to know more, and plenty of statistics and eye-opening stories but our ‘take home on this’ is that while the problem is being addressed through a number of determined passionate people and organisations, this is nowhere near enough supported to stop the tragic and yearly consequences from being anywhere near adequately addressed. For what we consider to be one of the most ground-breaking, informative and unforgettable books on the subject, go buy Rose George‘s, ‘The Big Necessity‘ – it’s a fascinating read as she exposes the biggest single unexposed health problem on planet earth.

When Nature Calls. Meanwhile back to where we started, and a few links to get you through the weeks ahead until the public toilets reopen. Stay safe, stay aware and please leave no trace when pooping outside to keep other safe too. As an addendum, we just spotted an article in the Evening Standard by Lezlie Lowe, published today 5th June, entitled, ‘As lockdown eases we need to talk about toilets.’ Here, Lezlie reiterates the comments we’ve made and also those we discussed about improving public toilets for women, link here. Well worth reading as she’s researched the subject far more than we, and do buy her book too, ‘No Place To Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs.’ The other article that’s popped up since we published was in HuffPost on 6th June, where Sophie Wilkinson writes for ‘Opinion’, ‘Public Toilets Are An Equalities Issue. Why Don’t We Care?‘ Great to see these expert views on the subject.

  1. Huffpost: How To Pee And Poop Outdoors If Provincial Park Washrooms Are Closed.
  2. Road Trippers: Nature is calling: Here’s how to poop properly in the great outdoors.
  3. A classic list from Adventure Journal: Seven Ways to Poop Outdoors.
  4. The Manual: How to Poop in the Woods: A Guide for When Nature Calls.

We’ll be back again next week.

Catching up on the recent news on loos & no. 2s…

Neanderthal to Now
‘Neanderthal to Now’ Squatting or Sitting on the Throne [from ‘All about Poo’]

Straighten the kink. With the UK Bank Holiday just past, on Friday we were discussing our patents pending for an attractive manufactured accessory to help lift your legs and mimic a squat when you sat on the toilet, straightening our colons. In fact that’s were our banner idea came from (above) ‘Neanderthal to Now.’ Interestingly the subject of how best to poop popped up again yesterday in a UNILAD article, ‘Only 11% Of People Poop The ‘Healthy’ Way, QS Supplies Study Finds‘ by Lucy Connolly. As per our own research and further medical evidence, ‘So then why is the footstool the way to go? Well, while sitting with your feet on the ground might relax the puborectalis muscle slightly, it still takes quite a bit of effort to push the waste through because the position of the rectum is still kinked up. However, if you introduce a footstool and sit with your knees up above the hips, leaning forward slightly, this kink is removed and the faeces is able to empty out quickly and thoroughly.’

Having taken up Friday’s post on that kinky business, we neglected to do our usual round up of the week’s news on loos and no. 2s so here it is:

Worth taking time out to watch… ‘Two Ply Over The Cuckoo’s Nest‘ is the grand prize winner of KQED’s Homemade Film Festival. A stop motion ode to quarantine made entirely out of toilet paper.

With a daily routine of exercising outside being a major help in times of lockdown, news keeps breaking on how people are managing, or not, with the public toilets being closed. So, from HuffPost‘s Doug O’Neill, ‘How To Pee And Poop Outdoors If Provincial Park Washrooms Are Closed.’

Waiter, there’s a poop in my soup. As practically every living creature poops, we also like to keep updated on their poop news too, so here’s a round up on ‘All Animals Poo and We Do Too’ with some news that may surprise or entertain you, take your pick. Firstly, ‘Shinohara has high hopes for a range of additional insect-based products, including beer made from crickets and a tea made from silkworm excrement.’ On Business Day, ‘Creepy-crawly soup, with silkworm-poo tea.’

Then in no particular order; In Science News, ‘Tapirs may be key to reviving the Amazon. All they need to do is poop‘ by Gloria Dickie. On ABC.net Australia, ‘Fish poo and gut goo are helping scientists eradicate a major pest on the Great Barrier Reef‘ Podcast [7mins] by Patricia Karvelas on RN Drive with Neil Byrne, preceded by some Kangaroo news. ‘This Is Why Magpie Poop Is Black And White‘ Gisela Kaplan for Gismodo. From BBC Earth [on Facebook] see, ‘First Year on Earth: Hyenas have white poo‘ [1min 24]. Death by Poop, ‘Ice Age giant sloths died in a pit of their own poop‘ by Mindy Weisberger for LiveScience. Finally, as it’s been all over the news this past two weeks, we’ve picked EcoWatch, ‘Antarctic Penguin Poop Emits Laughing Gas‘ by Jordan Davidson.

Adventures in the World of Human Waste. On that happy note regarding penguins, we’ll be back on Friday, and the following week we hope to have a catch up on ‘The Big Necessity‘ by Rose George, who in 2008 published the first popular study on the subject of the world of human waste. Apart from highlighting a few remarkable facts and observations from Rose, now, 12 years later what’s changed in solving the single biggest unsolved public health problem on the planet?

Patents Pending: Aesthetic toilet accessory that helps you squat while you s*it or pee.

Patents Pending for integrated foot rest for both wall & floor mounted toilets.

These days it’s fairly common knowledge that our seated ‘toilet posture’ accounts for a number of health issues. Humans were not designed to ‘sit’ on a loo. We were all squatters and even today over 50% of the world are without sit on toilets. This week is about those of us with the luxury of a sit on toilet that may wish to consider a toilet accessory that looks good and actually does you good too. It’s primarily about the way we sit when we use the toilet for no. 1s and 2s.

But, this idea and the proven benefits is not anything new – it’s just that toilet manufacturers and accessory designers haven’t appeared to be interested in manufacturing or offering it as a standard option for your bathroom design, or more importantly for ensuring your better health and wellbeing when buying their products. As a senior consultant in the field once said to me, ‘It’s about the bottom line,’ to which I replied, ‘Yes, rather than the bottom itself.’ The excuse that it doesn’t make them enough money to produce such a thing is easily dismissed by the likes of the ‘SharkTank‘ start up ‘SquattyPotty‘ and subsequent start ups like TUSHY who also that also produce ‘standalone’ accessories, the idea being ‘To enable you to, lift you legs, mimicking a squat and in doing so straightening the kink in your sigmoid colon (the lower part of your colon) to go with the flow!’ SquattyPotty alone has a turnover iro $30million pa. The global sales figures and demand for enabling yourself to ‘squat on the toilet’ while sitting should be proof positive to manufacturers that this needs to go from ‘stand alone’ to ‘standard option’ for both floor and wall mounted toilets, either as part of their initial design or a retro fit.

Foot stools such as SquattyPotty’s and ‘TUSHY’s ‘Ottoman’ are functional, well designed solutions to helping numerous people with conditions such as; straining, haemorrhoids (piles) and/or constipation, hernias and pelvic organ disorders incl. prolapse, or worse, colon cancer and even heart attacks. Quite simply, ignoring the taboo on toilet talk, we probably all know someone who just isn’t always happy or finding it that easy to go to the loo all the time.

Background. Let’s rewind to three years ago. While sitting on a coach en route to Cardiff for a meeting, Mark Hendriksen was reading Giulia Enders‘ groundbreaking book, ‘The Gut‘ as a follow on from a sourdough baking course and interest in how, ‘The human body contains trillions of microorganisms to the extent of outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1.‘ Quite early on in the book he read about the ‘squat vs sit‘ and had a ‘eureka’ moment as he noticed the coach seat had a pull out foot bar on which to lift you feet. The thought was, ‘Why not design a foot bar that could be integrated aesthetically and practically into any sit down toilet.‘ The key point at that moment in time was that although sketches and ideas flowed, Mark was really focussed on doing some children”s books at that particular moment – and this was going to need a lot of research.

To cut to the chase, designs was drawn up, patent searches took place and eventually various patents pending were established. During the journey to achieve all of that, the likes of ‘SquattyPotty’ came to light and from there on the major part of Mark’s days have been taken up with loos & no. 2s. At this precise moment in time Mark has 4 children’s books on the subject ready for publication, and as is notable from this post, is writing about the stuff every week.

But, what about the patents pending? The important and unique USP about these patents and the design is that they’re like any of your regular bathroom fittings, i.e. chrome, sleek, functional, attractive and flow with the design of practically every toilet. You don’t have to hide them if friends or family come round, they don’t take up additional bathroom space, are easy to clean and hygienic, plus, and it’s a big plus, ‘As a fitted accessory can be used in any office, hospital, public toilet etc.’ That makes it effectively usable anywhere there’s a toilet, and that’s a huge leap forward for healthcare. It provides huge potential cost savings for related health issues.

The other positive impact is that since their first appearance when the flush toilet was invented in 1596 but didn’t become widespread until 1851, ‘It would be changing the function of the toilet for good, and significantly‘ as did sanitation, sewer treatment and management. The earliest sitting toilets were invented by the Mesopotamians, then Romans and others who got people sitting 1000s of years ago. But especially then, and certainly back in 1851 when the first flush toilets appeared, ‘who and where was the healthcare expertise, specialist or organisation that confirmed it was better to sit than squat and there would be no health issues by doing so?

At the end of the day we’re simply trying to save everyone’s arse. There’s a lot more on the subject than this short article can address and expand on, but suffice to say we’d love to hear from anyone who may be interested in these patents pending and their potential future place in every bathroom/wc, be it private or public. We’ll catch up on the usual look at this weeks best articles during the coming days.

We’re beginning to get our sh*t together… with ‘Sewage Epidemiology.’

from Mark's Children's Book series about loos and no. 2s
Image copyright | Hendriksen & Hopson [illustration from the children’s book ‘It’s all about Poo.’]

Most people are aware of what a healthy poop should look like and how it can signal or warn of potential health problems. Taking a look at your daily motion is stage one, then if necessary, with poo samples doctors and scientists take that a stage further by providing detailed analysis of our health and wellbeing. But, until now, few of us had known that our collective poop can show a lot about the health of a community and in doing so help track and trace the likes of coronavirus and other diseases. We touched on the subject of testing in sewers a while back – now it’s among the weekly headlines we’ll go deeper into, ‘How sewage analysis can help track, trace and protect against viruses.’

Following on from an article on May 3rd in The Guardian, ‘Sensor taps and no door handles: Covid-19 shows it’s time to rethink public toilets.’ We got in touch with Maria Centracchio to a) to compliment her on her piece and expand on future challenges for public toilets, and b) to mention ‘the onward journey’ from public toilets in regards to another article where, “The Guardian had reported that scientists are researching how sampling our stools could offer a faster and cheaper way to pinpoint where outbreaks of COVID-19 are brewing before scores of people become seriously ill, either by tracking or detecting remnants of the virus in municipal sewage.

No sooner had I posted my reply to Maria when my (Dutch) wife popped into my office to show me where virus tests can be done without testing people directly in this explanatory video from nu.nl in The Netherlands. The accompanying dialogue basically translates as… “Why they are looking at your stool for traces of coronavirus. The coronavirus has been found in our sewers. But why are we specifically diving into our sewage to find it?‘ You can check out the video here. Interestingly, research out of The Netherlands has shown that the virus’ genetic material, or RNA [RNA is one of the three major biological macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life, along with DNA and proteins] can be detected in wastewater (faecal matter) as much as two weeks before the first diagnosis of a sick patient by a doctor.

However, wastewater testing per sae is nothing new as it has been used for drug testing for some while. This can be seen, for example, in the work of The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. But with COVID-19 the breadth of testing via wastewater has stepped up. An article from Applied and Environmental Microbiology illustrates how much research and potential this type of analysis holds, (provided courtesy of the American Society for Microbiology [ASM] and released back in 2014) ‘Detection of Pathogenic Viruses in Sewage Provided Early Warnings of Hepatitis A Virus and Norovirus Outbreaks.’ In fact it might beggar the question as to why governments appear not to have picked up on this somewhat earlier. Nevertheless, to get under the lid of just how impactful wastewater testing may potentially be, take a look at the media links on BioBotGlobal leaders in wastewater epidemiology, whose mission is to transform wastewater infrastructure into public health observatories, where millions of dollars are being invested to establish just how effective this particular type of test could be.

Sewage epidemiology is now being used around the world, and although The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that the ‘COVID-19 virus, does not readily spread through sewage and wastewater systems. But like other microbes, non-infectious genetic residues of the virus can remain in wastewater systems in the locations where infected people go to the toilet. Add the work of other major organisations into the mix, such as The Water Research Foundation who held a summit on ‘Environmental Surveillance of COVID-19 Indicators in Sewersheds’ at the end of April. Then also the numerous universities around the world and you get a growing list of researchers in The NetherlandsFranceThe USA and Australia who have been testing sewage for SARS-CoV-2 for over a month now, and generally reported that the rise and fall of their results reflect officially reported local rates of infection with COVID-19.

Another resource is The Toilet Board Coalition, ‘The Toilet Board Coalition has expanded its reach to proactively call for catalysing innovations and new business models that fill the gaps needed to leapfrog to next generation sanitation systems.’ As mentioned above, using sewage to detect viruses like COVID-19 as early as possible is gathering increased interest as the chart below [copyright Toilet Board Coalition] helps to illustrate.

The important point in all this is the more studies that take place, the closer we may be to finding a truly effective way of making the difference we all seek with a new weapon against COVID-19. As part of next week’s post, we’ll look at how human faeces is being used for health, fertilizer, fuel and even ‘sh*tting bricks,’ plus get back up to date on the latest news on loos and no. 2s here at, ‘The Daily Poo!’

‘How about a toilet paper amnesty?’ + ahead of Easter here’s this weeks news and views on loos, no. 2s and bidets too from’The Daily Poo!’

Albertsons Market inspired baking… Bum Cakes? Loo Rolls? Crap [oops] Cup’cakes

There’s an idea we’d like to float… ‘Toilet Paper Amnesty.’ 😉 Anyone who has packets of unopened TP that they’re simply not going to need, or now realise are excess to requirement, can you be creative in how to donate or give back? Just a thought… any great ideas please contact us and we’ll post the best ones. In the photo above, from Albertsons Market in the USA, some novel baking ideas that may make your Easter Buns ‘Hot and Cross’. Inspired? Check this link from BUST for a ‘Poop Emoji Cake‘ recipe, then photograph and share #cakemoji. As the subject of toilet paper is still refusing to go away, thought we could look at the funnier side to the situation – as there is toilet paper out there, really! That’s enough talk about buns, let’s move onto the week’s news and views on loos and no. 2s…

‘Pulp Friction’ is a great article from The Japan Times / Reuters. As we’d mentioned a while back, it’s not a shortage of toilet paper but supply chains that could create a knock-on effect i.e. ‘It’s the hoarding that created the tension in supply’. Read the article here. On which subject this headline from Fox 2 Detroit has to be one of the funniest of the week… ‘What’s behind the runs on toilet paper?

Big Brother is watching your Butt! As this recent article in Business Insider reveals… ‘The smart toilet’s flush lever is equipped a fingerprint reader, and cameras in the toilet bowl can identify people’s butts.’ The headline, ‘Stanford scientists designed a smart toilet that can ID you just with a picture of your butt to monitor the health of your poop and pee.’ Interestingly, or rather unsurprisingly, participants were somewhat uncomfortable with a camera that snaps their anus (so to speak.) Whilst as Dana G Smith wrote about a few weeks back, ‘The Butt is not a Back Door to Health and Wellness‘ even though what comes out of it may be. However the bidet certainly is good for your health and wellness, and so…

All of that brings us nicely back to why bidets are such a great idea, and are there purely to wash, not watch, your daily goings on. It’s a topic we covered in previous posts, but has come to the fore primarily because toilet paper shortages got people doing some latrinal, or rather, lateral thinking. No longer is it only about the ‘washing basin for your private parts‘ it’s now about easy-fit toilet attachments, ‘bum guns‘ that anyone can install in about 10 mins and be good to go! That’s been a real game-changer and made them ‘accessible to all‘. You can read what we posted on the subject two weeks back here, but to add to that and reinforce the positives and benefits, read on.

Planet Bidet. Some of the places where the bidet is most popular include; Asia, West Africa, the Middle East and Islam, and in Europe, as well as Southern Europe, examples are Italy and France. What about the USA and the UK? Well curiously the bidet, invented back in France centuries ago, has never really taken of in the USA, although with the outbreak of covid-19 and ‘so imagined’ toilet paper shortages, there’s been surge of interest, take TUSHY Bidets for example as US company whose sales have rocketed! We should add that a similarly Australians got to see a rise in adopting bidets too. Nevertheless, it’s written that the Americans were introduced to them during the war when stationed in Europe and saw these ‘basins’ in brothels and associated them with sex work, another was their representing a symbol of sin and hedonism, so that plus the sexuality factor made them considered taboo.

As for the British, a combination of reasons and prevail that stopped the growth of bidet sales and installations. Their original appearance tended to be in middle or upper class households (often without particularly knowing how to use them) and given the expense and amount of room the ‘basin’ bidet took up, it wasn’t really going to be a standard bathroom accessory for many at the time. As Michele Hanson once wrote for The Guardian, there was an effort made by the Council of British Sanitary Pottery Manufacturers in 1963 to reignite public interest but that failed. ‘We were restrained by British prudery, suggested the council’, ‘depriving the country of the most hygienic washing appliance of them all’. There was another uptick when they once again became the fashion in the 70s and 80s as Brits returning from holidays in Europe felt they could add a certain sophistication into their homes by placing the continental bidet they’d tried next in their bathrooms at home.

In a survey for BBC News Magazine back in 2014, they found that, ‘When staying somewhere with a bidet, 58 per cent of Brits ignored it, 30 per cent used it for the purpose for which it was intended, while 12 per cent found creative alternative uses. These included using the bidet to store wet umbrellas, using it as a foot-bath, a goldfish bowl, to develop photographs or as a swimming-pool for Barbie dolls‘. Nowadays, imagine the instagram opportunities alone! However, though the number of bidets sold in the UK has fluctuated over time, they have remained relatively low. It seems that prudery has prevailed. Let’s hope with the brilliant new attachable bidet accessories and all their recent publicity and praise, that this is going to change from here on – signs are that’s already happening.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter, and with so much #stayhome time, if you’re thinking about a bidet…. 😉 [We’ll be back next week.]