Hughes 1988: A tribute to toilet paper

toilet paper rollReviews of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 10, No. 1., 1988.  From the Divisions of Infectious Disease, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

The author was surprised to find that there has actually been no research on the benefits of toilet paper.  Does it really bar transmission of infection? 

And why do people comply so well with toilet paper use, but not so much with hand washing which has much more science behind it?

The author gives a good bit of interesting history, describing the practices used before toilet paper, and during various wars, including one more modern study that showed that if we go back to the old ways of using newspaper, etc., it would destroy our modern plumbing system. 

NOTE:  Besides keeping a good supply of toilet paper on hand, many of us have considered what to do to prepare for any future shortage of toilet paper as we had when Covid hit the US.   Don’t use newspaper!!  But one suggestion, which I have prepared for my own family, is to take rags, sheets, old towels, diapers, etc., and cut them into suitable pieces.  Just fold and keep in a box under the sink.  If you should ever happen to need to use them, just use and then throw into a bucket (with a lid and some bleach-containing water if you wish) and wash the way you used to wash soiled diapers before pampers were invented.  For those who don’t remember that time, you just throw them in your washer with regular laundry soap and set on hot water.  Then dry, and they are ready for re-use.

MedLine || Full Text

This entry was posted in 1986-1990, Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *