When you use a public toilet, whether in a shopping mall or a public building, you have no idea which detergents and chemicals you are exposed too. This is even truer when you have to use chemical toilets. Why is this even important, and is there an alternative? Keep reading and you'll find out.
Hazardous materials in public toilets
To understand what cleaning and disinfectants materials are used in public toilet facilities, we talked to Natalie Amar, the lab manager for "Ale Ecological Services
", an Israeli company that deals with the treatment and recycling of hazardous materials.
Natalie was pleased with our question, saying it's important to raise awareness of the dangers associated with detergents in general and especially the dangers involved when we mix acid with bleach.
She said that there are hundreds of cases every year where people are exposed to poisonous chlorine gas, that's often released into the surrounding environment as a result of mixing an acidic detergent with bleach (which is a strong alkaline). This happens a great deal especially during the domestic cleaning spree before Passover, but also happens when members of the
public use public toilets.
Chlorine gas was first used in chemical warfare during the First World War is now considered a weapon of mass destruction and is illegal under international law. Exposure to the gas causes severe irritation to the throat and breathing system, and can result in the buildup of fluids in the lungs. In high concentrations (above 800 ppm), exposure can be life threatening.
Detergent dangers – beyond chlorine gas
We attempted to find out, with Natalie's expertise, if the only dangers associated with using detergent are limited to mixing acid with bleach. It turns out that the answer is a resounding NO! If we use high doses of acid or bleach-based detergents, even when not mixed together, this can cause serious irritation to the skin, the eyes and the breathing system.
Other detergents and disinfectants, many of which are commonly used in public toilets, may also cause burns when coming into direct contact with the skin, especially when in high concentrations. On unpleasant effect can result in burns and irritation to the buttocks.
What’s more, for people that suffer from allergies, even limited exposure to hazardous detergents in a toilet stall can result in skin inflammation and itching and even cause dry and cracked skin. For those suffering from asthma, inhaling detergent fumes might trigger the shortness of breath associated with an asthma attack.
Hazardous materials in chemical toilets
To understand what negatively differentiates chemical toilets from other mobile toilet
solutions, we approached Mr. Yossi Arrera, the CEO of "GoRest
", a company that rents and markets luxurious, high-end mobile toilet solutions for events and any other need.
Mr. Arrera explained that, in the past, many of chemical toilets used one of the following hazardous materials:
▪ Boric Acid
He emphasized that the use of such materials has disappeared almost completely from the industry, due to today’s more stringent and clearer standards and regulations, that make it mandatory for suppliers to choose safer alternatives.
Nevertheless, the human factor and margin for error hasn't yet been eliminated, so the dangers are still very much present. It is vital that we be aware of them and prepared to provide and use a better and safer solution
Risks associated from the exposure to chemicals in chemical toilets
After hearing all this, we weren't really reassured, so we asked Yossi Arrera to go into greater detail about the dangers we face when using a chemical toilet.
It turns out that Formaldehyde is defined by the United States toxicology organization as a confirmed carcinogen in humans. Contact with this substance causes skin inflammation and irritations, while inhaling it may cause lesions in the throat, shortness of breath, lung edema, headaches and even nasal and larynx cancer.
Furthermore, on a hot summer’s day with direct sunlight on the chemical toilet stall, or if a user throws a lit cigarette into the toilet bowl, the formaldehyde can even explode.
Glutaraldehyde, another substance that might be found in chemical toilets, is prone to
combust or explode in high temperatures. It can also cause chemical burns and severe skin irritation upon contact. When inhaled, glutaraldehyde can cause serious breathing problems– including shortness of breath, lung, throat and nasal inflammations and even, when inhaled in high concentrations, cause respiratory gangrene.
Boric acid, as opposed to the previous two chemicals, will "only" cause throat pain, coughing, respiratory irritation if inhaled, red skin and inflammation upon contact. In addition, if the skin has cuts and lacerations, the boric acid can penetrate the blood stream and cause further damage.
So, what can you do when you need a mobile toilet unit?
We kept on asking questions, wanting to understand why, if it's really so dangerous, what solutions are available for construction sites, outdoor events or any other event where a mobile toilet solution is needed.
Yossi explained, with a smile, that in non-chemical mobile toilet units, there's no need to use strong and hazardous chemical materials, because the staff clean the toilet unit regularly, even around the clock if the event needs it.
We asked if this means that renting advanced mobile toilet stalls also includes cleaning services.
Yossi replied with a resounding “Yes” and went on to explain that with a non-chemical mobile toilet solution, with cleaning services, the stalls and entire toilet surroundings remain clean, sterile and free of unpleasant odors. This is achieved by using natural and nonhazardous detergents.
In addition, these advanced and luxurious mobile toilets are far more ecologically and environmentally safe than the standard home toilet and wash system. This is because the mobile toilet units are significantly more economical with water use – thanks to
sophisticated vacuum suction technology, such as that used in airplanes. Furthermore, the waste from the toilet stalls is quickly and efficiently transferred to a waste treatment and recycling facility.
The experience of using a luxurious mobile toilet
The mobile toilet units that Yossi told us about, are not only safer, healthier and more ecological than other solutions, but they are also far more inviting and offer a surprisingly aesthetic experience.
Forget the ugly and discouraging appearance of those awful chemical toilets you remember. The new, advanced solutions are built in an aesthetic and inviting mobile structure, with tiled floors and the very best design. They are fully serviced and equipped with all the toilet accessories you need – liquid soap, taps and washbasins, mirrors personal, hand towels etc.
When a client rents a mobile toilet unit for a special event, there's even greater emphasis on the small and fine details, such as vases with lovely flower arrangements, decorative lighting and even pictures on the walls. The result very much reminds us of the plush and luxurious toilet we find in hotels, restaurants and event venues. This mobile toilet option certainly delivers on convenience and being inviting but also on luxury and elegance.
The user experience when using these advanced and innovative toilet stalls is extremely comfortable and allows you to relive take care of your personal toiletry needs while maintaining the highest hygiene levels. You can even spruce yourself up in front of a mirror – whether it be at an outdoor wedding or a construction site.
To summarize: Using mobile toilets doesn't have to involve exposure to hazardous chemicals, and the stalls themselves really don’t have to look ugly and uninviting. Luxurious and fully equipped mobile toilet units are the safer, healthier, cleaner and more ecological alternative to the chemical toilets of days past – readily available for you and offering a far better user experience.
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