Monday, February 4, 2008

Coping without Toilet Paper

Cleansing the anus with water is a habit most Westerners find repulsive, yet much of the rest of the world finds the use of toilet paper incomprehensibly unsanitary.

Toilet paper was first manufactured in England in 1857. It was kept under the counter at finer stores and referred to as "curl papers." Toilet rolls did not reach the market until 1928, and soft paper was not used until 1932.

Even in the 1930s and 1940s most people in America and Britain still used torn up squares of newspaper.

Since the average Western person's lifetime consumption of toilet paper requires the felling of twenty-two trees, toilet hygiene with water is an earth-friendly skill.

The main thing most Westerners need to know about coping without toilet paper is that after-toilet cleaning requires lots of water, and the fingers may be required to remove larger bits. It usually is not possible to clean with water over a pedestal toilet, because of splashing.

Some doctors believe that washing with water reduces risk of yeast and fungal infections. The process of cleaning is not complete, however, until the hands are washed with soap and water (or cleansing wipes) before leaving the lavatory.

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