Dutch public loo is a bacteria paradise

20th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

20 November 2003, AMSTERDAM — A day after World Toilet Day, the lid has been lifted on the secret shame of Dutch conveniences: only one in five is clean and public loos are a paradise for dangerous bacteria.

20 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — A day after World Toilet Day, the lid has been lifted on the secret shame of Dutch conveniences: only one in five is clean and public loos are a paradise for dangerous bacteria.

The state of public toilets the world over often leaves a lot to be desired, but Dutch service sector magazine Service Management warned on Thursday that loos in the Netherlands are among the worst.

"Particularly public toilets appear to be a paradise for illness-causing bacteria and mould," the magazine warned.

"The constant dampness and warm atmosphere of the toilet is an excellent breeding ground for micro-organisms."

The toilet seat is the greatest source of bacteria, but the flush mechanism and the door handle were contaminated in 50 percent of the toilets surveyed, news agency Novum reported.

Some Dutch towns have spent lots of money to upgrade their "facilities" with such innovations as special cabins that can be lifted automatically from special "man-holes" in the ground during the lavatory rush hours at weekends.

On the other hand, Amsterdam City Council liberally places plastic portable urinals around the city at night to provide many male drinkers with urgently-needed relief, but little privacy from preying eyes.

Yet, many other urinals and public toilets in Amsterdam and across the country were built in the early 20th century or, in some cases, even earlier. And you can tell.

Few health-conscious passers-by venture into them, and as the survey illustrated, visits by cleaners also appear to be very rare.

The survey was published a day after the annual World Toilet Day on 19 November.

The World Toilet Organisation launched a drive this week to collect tips for the agenda for the World Toilet Summit in Beijing in 2004.

"If everyone joins in, there (will be) better public toilets and happier people," Jack Sim, a founding member of the World Toilet Organisation and president of the Restroom Association of Singapore told news agency AP.

Suggestions already posted on the group's website include: teach children to aim, wipe the toilet seat after use and praise owners of well-kept toilets. Tips can be sent to info@worldtoilet.org.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news

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