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Great British public’s top toilet habit is reading


Great Britain’s top toilet habit is reading, with more than 14 million people choosing to look at books, magazines and newspapers to pass the time while they are on the porcelain throne, according to a survey published to mark World Toilet Day today.

The research, commissioned by aid agency Tearfund, reveals that more than eight million people talk while they are on the loo – either on the phone or to their family – and one in five adults send text messages.

The “Toilet Habit” survey also shows that more than five million people think about food – with Londoners topping the table – and that men are more likely to look for a distraction when on the toilet than women.

But Tearfund’s research was commissioned with a serious message in mind. While 75% of people questioned complained about toilets being dirty, unflushed, or having loo roll, more than a third of the world’s population today do not have a clean, safe place to go to the toilet and every twenty seconds a child dies from poor sanitation or unclean water.

Tearfund has launched a campaign to highlight this injustice and is calling on world leaders to tackle the problem by creating a Global Action Plan on Water and Sanitation by 2010.

Tearfund’s Water and Sanitation Policy Advisor, Mari Williams, said: “It’s scandalous that in the 21st century, more than 2.5 billion people living in the developing world do not have a clean, safe place to go to the toilet, and almost 900 million people do not have access to clean water – something we take for granted in the UK.

“Half the people in the developing world are suffering from one or more of the main diseases associated with inadequate water provision and sanitation, like diarrhoea, and half the girls in Sub-Saharan Africa who drop out of primary school do so because of poor water or sanitation facilities. This has to stop.

“World leaders need to take extraordinary action to end this sanitation scandal which is causing misery for billions of people.

Ekklesia www.ekklesia.co.uk (This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & 2.0 England & Wales License)