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As today (19th November) is World Toilet Day we’re dedicating our latest blog entry to toilets and their importance in human life and what we should be doing in order to make sure that a place that we spend an average of 13 months of our lives sitting on is as clean as it needs to be.

Having access to a toilet is a basic human right and is something that most of us will take for granted but, alarmingly, 4.5 billion people on our planet are currently living without access to a safe toilet – that’s a staggering 62.5% of the world living without access to safe sanitation. That may seem crazy for us that live in first-world countries, but unfortunately for those who don’t this is a very real and serious problem. As well as this, 892 million people worldwide are practising open defecation, which is essentially turning our beautiful planet into an open sewer, which doesn’t take much to realise that this is going to cause problems for the environment and its ecosystems.

This is a global issue as toilets play a hugely important role for all of us, not only for a safe space to relieve ourselves, but they are also important for the sustainable, inclusive development of the human race. In a nutshell, toilets are vital for the healthy development of people, especially children. Safe sanitation in general is just as important. Having a safe area to relieve of urine and faeces helps to provide a healthy living environment for everyone, protect natural resources such as surface water, groundwater and soil, and provide safety, security and dignity for everyone when they use the facility.

So what needs to be done in order to tackle these issues and reduce the number of people who do not have access to safe sanitation? The short answer is investment. In 2012 the World Health Organisation estimated that for every dollar that the USA invested into global sanitation, the global economic return on sanitation spending is $5.50. This number alone proves that investment in the area is the answer to the problem. Nearly half of global malnutrition instances are linked to chronic diarrhoea caused by a lack of clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene, showing that the global population’s lack of access to clean and safe toilets is having a huge impact on the future of millions of children worldwide suffering from malnutrition. Over half of the world are struggling to develop, stay healthy and earn themselves a better future, all for the want of a toilet. It’s time that changed.

As well as the global need for improved sanitation, it is also important that we ensure our toilets at home and work are clean in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bathrooms can be germ breeding grounds if they are not maintained correctly, resulting in illness and potential damage to bathroom surfaces and fixtures. To help the prevention of bacteria and other germs we would recommend cleaning your toilet twice a week, your sink weekly and your shower and bath once every couple of weeks, but there is nothing wrong with cleaning them more often if you use them more frequently. If you’re looking for new products to tackle the germs in your bathroom, our Everfresh Apple is great for cleaning toilets and Clean Fast is great for cleaning all surfaces in your bathroom.