July 22, 2014

"It is hard to find something that we actually got right in the modern bathroom."

"The toilet is too high (our bodies were designed to squat), the sink is too low and almost useless; the shower is a deathtrap (an American dies every day from bath or shower accidents). We fill this tiny, inadequately ventilated room with toxic chemicals ranging from nail polish to tile cleaners. We flush the toilet and send bacteria into the air, with our toothbrush in a cup a few feet away. We take millions of gallons of fresh water and contaminate it with toxic chemicals, human waste, antibiotics and birth control hormones in quantities large enough to change the gender of fish."

From "Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design/Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster." Via Metafilter, where somebody says:
Don't care won't care. That Guardian article is yet another attempt to put the blame for environmental problems on me the customer/individual when the system needs to change. I like my hot shower and want enough water and energy to run it, cleanly, not dither around pissing in straw buckets.

33 comments:

Virgil Hilts said...

I commute by bicycle but don't wear a helmet. When someone questions the intelligence of that, I ask that person if they wear a bike helmet when they take a bath or shower. Strangely, they almost always say no. But they are taking approximately the same statistical risk each time they bathe.

Paco Wové said...

Typical Guardian bullshit, providing something new for privileged Western lefties to fret about.

The modern bathroom isn't a 'disaster', though it could be better than it is. And piped water isn't a 'convenience', it's a fucking miracle. It's probably kept that stupid douchebag of a Guardian author alive.

glenn said...

Fart noises!

CWJ said...

Wow! This may be the definition of first world problem.

Harriet said...

I was thinking along similar lines lately, after my friend fell and hurt her knee so badly that she's in a wheelchair with five children to take care of. (Thankfully, they're older).

But how does one navigate most bathrooms with an injury like that? I think every builder should just make showers standard with a wide, flat opening, and a place to sit. We're all going to get old or injured at some point, and the old way of doing a shower or a bath needs to go.

retired said...

If you're a lefist, every single thing has to be criticized, found wanting, and a huge guilt trip and blame laid on those of us who make the country work. The left never comes up with a solution to the problem they have identified, certainly not one that works, is cost effective, or makes any sense. The concept of "do no harm" never occurs to them. Much of this is intentional and is ruining the country.

retired said...

I hope the ass who is too stupid to wear a helmet doesn't get his empty head run over.

MathMom said...

Yeah, piped water and flush toilets are the main reason for the reduction of communicable disease. If you don't have raw sewage running through your house, or in the street, it's amazing how healthy you can become.

The Guardian idiot has probably never lived in a place with the stench of raw sewage everywhere. I really don't miss it!

Joe said...

our bodies were designed to squat

Out bodies weren't designed.

Beyond that, my toilet is the right height, my sink very useful. My tub isn't a problem.

Sounds like a lot of whining in order to get word count for an article.

Titus said...

I have a very difficult time going to the lou at my company.

I work with highly educated economists (from top tier schools-Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale) and they leave shit in the lou.

The fact that they hired me and respect me should tell you how fab I really am. And I am the daughter of dirt poor Wisconsin farmers. I made it bitches! My own Ivy Education allows me this power, because if I attended Wisconsin or Michigan they would not allow me this power.

I can not pee in an urinal.

I know everyone's shit patterns on my floor. I actually go into the lou after they pinch because my window office is near the door where they do their loaf.

I have a window corner office too and I make lots of money so fuck u. I am very proud that I can tell these Ivy Phd Economists what to do and say to their direct reports.

I am really fab and have a great body. What more could u ask form?

Anonymous said...

"The toilet is too high (our bodies were designed to squat)," They squat in China, don't they? And third world countries too, behind the bushes, preferably; upstream of a creek, sometimes.

"the sink is too low" Depending on how tall one is, yes?

"We flush the toilet and send bacteria into the air, with our toothbrush in a cup a few feet away." One can always put down the toilet cover before one flushes, yes? Or one can use an outhouse like third worlders do.

Totally agree with the contamination part. So we only eat deep sea fish, and hope they aren't filled with mercury.

The worst thing is en suite bedrooms where one sleeps every night next to ones toilet. Yuck!

Donna B. said...

I really, really, really do not want to limit myself to only the things my body can adapt itself to do -- like squatting to poop. Or reproducing. Or eating a 'paleo' diet.

If there's any "design" involved, our bodies were designed to adapt. Mine has adapted to not squatting to poop just fine.








Skeptical Voter said...

Maybe his body was designed to squat.

But I can well remember the time I went to the men's room in a warehouse building in Parma Italy in the early 1980's. It was a modern tilt up structure and was maybe one or two years old.

The "toilet" was a hole in the floor leading to god knows what. I gave it a pass.

Maybe this Guardian clown wants to go back to say the Dickens era in London where people were dying of cholera in wholesale lots.

Donna B. said...

Let's all do like the Japanese do! Women will serve men in the bathtub -- it's not sexist because it saves water.

And the rich can get richer by selling their high quality poop for more than the poor can sell their not-quite-so-good poop. Equality be damned in the named of conservation!

Henry said...

Note: Leftist attack on birth control hormones.

Ron said...

Now lefties are up my ass! Literally! The only good thing about that is they are in the cross(butt)hairs, so to speak....

broomhandle said...

Graffiti in Porta-Potty w/urinal along Hood Canal:

"Sink too low, soap won't lather"

LYNNDH said...

Ten yrs ago we remodeled various parts of our house. In the WC we put in a new shower with low threshold, 3 hand holds, and a seat. The toilet is one of those that you sit several inches higher - easer for us older people to get up.
I was on a trip to Mongolia and Siberia. The hole in the floor/field just did not work for me.

holdfast said...

The worst thing about the modern bathroom is the sh*tty low-flo, environmentally correct showerhead. I am a guy with short hair and a problem waking up early, so my showers are maximum 4 minutes long, but for those 4 minutes I would really like to get hit with a decent spray of water, not this pathetic trickle that is the result of the greenie over-regulation of our lives. Let the women who take 30 minute showers fussing with their hair and shaving their legs have the pathetic showerhead - I want a real goddam shower.

J Lee said...

The Guardian story kind of ties in with the product that's been relentlessly advertised on radio over the past month or two -- the Squatty Potty. Since hacksawing off the upper part of every toilet in your house and then reconnecting the water inflow would be a bit of an ordeal, the product's actually a raised footrest you put below your throne, allowing your legs to raise higher and giving you the fabled squatting position that the designer and the Guardian say was the way human were meant to lighten their loads.

Doesn't seem very comfortable to me, and I would think men or women with long legs would really have a problem with it. But for those who take the Guardian seriously but don't plan to destroy their loo to fix the problem, the option is out there.

Snappled! said...

Our old bathroom had shiny wall tiles on the floor. Very slippery and a down-right silly installation choice. Hubby ripped out the old 70's glory and I now enjoy my bathroom alone time, safe and sound with lappato tiles.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

A very interesting article describing changes Lloyd Alter made to sanitary facilities in his home, with comments by family members after a year living there.

Oh, wait. None of that. Just blathering about what other people should do.

lgv said...

Toilets too high and sinks too low are often the result of ADA compliance.

A squat toilet isn't all that sanitary, especially when you "flush" by pouring a bucket of water, which sends bacteria airborne, too.

Wouldn't composting toilets in a dense urban environment be great! Think about it.

ken in sc said...

Only a person who has never tried to rise up from a squat on 60+ year-old knees would think our toilets are too high. They make adapters to make toilets even higher for semi-invalids.

Henry said...

holdfast -- Those showerheads are replaceable you know. Behind them is the same water pressure as everywhere else in the house.

Do you encounter them while traveling? Bring your own. One full-bore showerhead, an adjustable crescent wrench, and a roll of teflon tape and you can upgrade your hotel bathroom in minutes.

TosaGuy said...

When in Iraq training their army, we would designate one portajohn for them since they would squat over the hole and usually miss.

Unknown said...

As a tall guy, I adapted my bathroom to me. Tall toilet, much more comfortable. More comfort, better poop action.

CWJ said...

Note to the fabulously ivy educated Titus,

J Lee @1:03AM actually knows how to spell "loo," and probably even knows why it's called that.

I have no idea why you'd think it was a "lou." Perhaps you thought bathrooms were nicknamed after a Fox Business News anchor. Fox/toilets yeah I can see where you'd think that.

TomHynes said...

"The Japanese used to sell their excrement; the rich got more money for theirs because they had better diets and made better quality fertilizer. "

The rich just keep getting richer.

jr565 said...

I think the article is right about the toilet. You get better bowel movements if you squat as opposed to sit. By better, I mean very little strain. The toilet is like a seat because you want to be able to read while dropping. A deuce and if you had to squat to read it would be I comfortotable.

Sigivald said...

the sink is too low and almost useless; the shower is a deathtrap (an American dies every day from bath or shower accidents)

1) Sinks seem fine to me.

2) Every day? Sure. Most of them old and unsteady and fragile, last I checked.

That's 365 a year out of 330,000,000.

That's not a deathtrap, that's remarkably safe.

Paul Ciotti said...

Holdfast, I take four minute showers too. I bought a Chinese-made low-flow shower head and used a screwdriver to pop out the flow restricter. Man, the water gushes down now like I'm standing under Victoria Falls. I love it. It blows me away, clears my mind, cleanses my body. Now if I could only get the long-haired women in my life from taking those god-damned 15 and 20 minute showers in which they wash their hair about five different ways. Then they come out with three of four empty shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles which they recycle. They think this makes the planet green.

bobby said...

" (an American dies every day from bath or shower accidents). "

Well, what a klutz. Does he need to bathe every day?