Lavatories are supposed to be hygienic. They’re where people often go to freshen up, and to “do their business.”
They should also be a place where people feel comfortable. However, in many countries there are sanitation issues regarding these public spaces. Smelly toilets, a lack of tissue and hand soap, and dirty floors are just some of the problems that occur in public restrooms.
In China, disgusting, unsanitary public restrooms is a national issue that goes way back. In the 1990s, one-third of the complaints of people, as reported by the tourism department, was about the bad conditions of public restrooms.
In 2011, research on how to totally eliminate foul toilet smells was made by a group of scientists. This year, China is very proud to say that it has formulated a perfume that can solve the odor problem.
“Five scientists have worked on this from 2011 to the beginning of this year,” said Dr. Zhiying Yan, a bacteriologist with the academy’s Chengdu Institute of Biology. He added that they had spent US$235,000 (£140,000) on the project. “Some local government officials here visited a sewage plant and saw that the treatment technology had come from Japan. They wanted a homegrown solution, so they asked us to work on it,” he added.
“We extracted bacteria from all types of excrement — human, pig, chicken and duck — and we tested our compounds one by one. The smells coming out of public lavatories, or cesspits, or rubbish bins, are made up of more than 160 different compounds,” he explained, adding that their bacteria, including a strain from the lactobacillus, saccharomycetes and actinomycetes families, can convert and absorb many of them.
A liter of this deodorizer costs US$8 (£5). It is also said to remove any stench, no matter how strong it is.