Comparative risks of shared toilets with individual field defecation


  • SusannahClemence
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Comparative risks of shared toilets with individual field defecation

Hi all,
Can anyone enlighten me on this?
It seems to me there is a balance to be struck between the risks of sharing toilets with other households, and the risk to others of individually digging a little hole each time in the corner of a field, using leaves for wiping, and covering faeces with earth and clumps of turf.
And it strikes me that the tipping point might be to do with local population density, with stability of the community (ie how many strangers) another factor.
Is there any research to measure infection risks, and social disgust/disinclination?
I'm thinking of the vehicle and tent dwellers in and around this rural town in England. 
What is the calculation determining whether they are better off using shared chemical toilets, or the surrounding fields?
Thank you!
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Comparative risks of shared toilets with individual field defecation

Hi Susannah,

I don't have a direct answer to your question but we do have a lengthy discussion thread on a related topic for the case of India here . The thread is called: "Pause before pushing more people to ODF (open defecation free)" and some arguments were made in the direction of "benefits of open defecation" which is I think what you're getting at. So you might enjoy reviewing that thread (it goes over 4 pages and was sometimes quite heated/controversial!)

I think apart from the factors that you mentioned, i.e. infection risk and social disgust, the other important factors would be privacy and safety, especially for women. Is it safer to use a cubicle toilet or an open field at night.

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