Whether it’s enchiladas, palek paneer, or some fusion of flavors in between, once your food gets past your esophagus, you rarely think about what happens next. After hours of absorption, digestion, and filtration, it inevitably ends up in the best invention of the western world: the toilet. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time traversing the unkempt wilderness, or visiting tourist attractions in third world countries, it’s easy to assume that the western toilet, complete with toilet paper and scented cleaner, is just an omnipresent facet of public and private life. As the infographic below most bluntly outlines, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
As it stands, 2.6 billion people don’t have access to sanitation services; that’s 40% of the world’s population. Over one third of those people have zero access to toilets, and are forced to defecate in public. In rural areas of developing nations, 1 in 3 people have no alternative to open defecation, and as a result, more than 200 million tons of human waste goes untreated each year into the ground and our waterways.
It’s not only gross, but also pretty dangerous. Human feces provide a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, including quick killers E. Coli and Salmonella. Sanitation-related diseases fill up half the hospital beds in developing nations, and contamination from feces kills more children each year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. The comfort of filtration and sanitation is known only in developed nations, and without it, our planet might collapse under the weight of our own poop.
Created by: OnlineNursingPrograms.com