When you think about innovations that revolutionized human health, you might think of penicillin, vaccines, or modern treatments like chemotherapy. But toilets have done an incredible amount of effort to improve health and wellness and continue to change lives in many places. The truth is that toilets can be life-changing and life-saving for people in need.

4000 years ago, the concept of an enclosed toilet was unheard of as people were only aware of defecating in the open.  After that, the “toilet” was a motley collection of communal outhouses, chamber pots, and holes in the ground. The centerpiece of today’s modern bathroom, the flush toilet was invented in 1596 but didn’t become widespread until 1851, they did not become widely adopted because most houses didn’t have a supply of running water.

The earlier cisterns were at a high-level supported on cast iron brackets with china or wooden pull on a chain. Some were a copper or tin tank enclosed by an oak or mahogany box, some cast iron but usually, enameled porcelain. By the late 1880s, improved symphonic flush pans allowed the cistern height to be reduced to just above the pan. The materials used for the cisterns were much the same, some of the vitreous china but rarely as highly decorated as their predecessors. In the late 19th century, the toilet was transferred from the room to the fixture itself.

When people don’t have toilets, they defecate in the open, often near living areas or the rivers that supply water for drinking or bathing. The unsafe disposal of human waste can spread disease like wildfire, invading homes, schools, hospitals, and other public spaces. 1 in 3 people worldwide doesn’t have access to hygienic toilet facilities.

Since 2013, the global governing body has designated November 19 as World Toilet Day to raise awareness and promote worldwide sanitation solutions, it is designated to remind people about this severe crisis that many people would rather ignore.

The World Toilet Organization has dedicated this day to spotlight the need for all human beings to have access to sanitation as half of the world’s population lacks a home toilet. Not to mention, the lack of basic sanitation facilities results in diseases that affect the lives of about half a million people annually. Furthermore, the international organization believes that every human being must have good sanitation alongside clean water and handwashing facilities to help protect and maintain health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases.

Guess we really shouldn’t take our toilets for granted.

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