In this article, we will discuss the different reasons why toilet paper is bad for the environment, for health, and for plumbing. A lot of people considered toilet paper a necessity since it is a habitual practice that they have done since childhood and because they are not comfortable using water. However, have you ever stopped and wonder if there is a bad effect to using toilet paper? We will discuss that in this article.
Why is toilet paper bad? Toilet paper is bad for the environment because of deforestation. Millions of trees are uprooted to make toilet paper. Aside from that, plenty of water is required to process trees so that they become pulp and turn into toilet paper. Moreover, toilet paper can also be bad for the health and there are many health risks of using toilet paper like UTI and hemorrhoids. Lastly, toilet paper can clog up drains and damage the plumbing system of your home.
Some toilet paper is bad for you because they contain chlorine and chlorine dioxide which are carcinogenic agents. Why should we not use toilet paper? Is toilet paper toxic? Why is toilet paper bad for the environment, the health, and the plumbing system? What are the different alternatives to toilet paper? These are some of the questions that we will talk about. Check out the rest of the article below for more information.
Why is Toilet Paper Bad for the Environment?
Toilet paper is bad for the environment because it is a paper product that is single-use. Aside from that, some chemicals are used to make toilet paper which contributes to negative environmental impact. For instance, some manufacturers use chlorine to bleach the pulp white and make toilet paper feel softer.
It Results in Deforestation
To make toilet paper, trees need to be cut down. Take note that toilet paper is made of virgin pulp or recycled waste paper. Nowadays, most toilet papers are made from virgin pulp which poses a big problem to the environment. This is because the carbon footprint of toilet paper that is produced from virgin pulp is higher as compared to those that are produced from recycled waste paper.
It Produces Greenhouse Gasses
The manufacturing of toilet paper releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and also contributes to climate change. It is biodegradable, but the manufacturing process still releases greenhouse gasses which is harmful to the environment.
Requires Plenty of Water
Water is required in the cleaning and preparation of the pulp which also harms the environment. 140 liters of water is required to manufacture a single roll of toilet paper. Aside from that, chlorine is also used to bleach the pulp and turn it white.
Video – A Crappy Situation: Toilet Paper’s Impact on Our Forests
Pattrn shared the video below on YouTube which discusses the impact of toilet paper on our forests. Check out the video and learn how the demand for toilet paper can cause environmental damage.
Why is Toilet Paper Bad for Your Health?
Wiping with the use of toilet paper can put your health at risk as it can lead to injuries. Some even develop allergic reactions, yeast infections, allergies, micro-cuts, hemorrhoids, and UTI. Below are some of the health problems that are caused by excessive use of toilet paper.
It Can Lead to Injuries
Wiping with the use of toilet paper can cause injuries. The skin around the anus is delicate and thin and wiping with toilet paper can lead to painful tears and bleeding. The use of toilet paper should be avoided especially to those who had just surgery, experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, and those who have just given birth.
The chemicals and fragrances used to produce toilet paper can cause allergic reactions. It can lead to vulvitis which is a condition with symptoms such as itching, redness, burning, or swelling. If you notice these symptoms after using toilet paper, it is best to switch brands. You can also check out this article that we have written which discusses if bamboo toilet paper can cause allergies.
This kind of health issue is commonly caused by scented toilet paper. The chemicals that are used to produce the fragrance in toilet papers can disrupt the vaginas normal PH balance and eventually lead to yeast infection.
Wiping roughly with the use of toilet paper can create little cuts in the skin. Avoid wiping excessively or roughly to avoid micro-cuts as it can lead to swelling, irritation, and when not treated properly, can lead to infection as well.
Why is Toilet Paper Bad for Plumbing?
Toilet paper can damage your plumbing system. Thick toilet paper can clog up the drain pipes. This is especially true if you have an old septic system or pipes. Toilet papers that are not septic safe will not easily break down and can cause clogging. In the end, you will have to spend money on professional plumbing services and repairs. We have also written this article titled, how does bamboo toilet paper impact sewage systems? Check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.
Worst Toilet Paper for Plumbing
There are some toilet papers that you need to stay away from which include the ultra-soft ones. These toilet papers are thick and will not easily degrade which can clog the waterway and cause permanent damage. Below is a list of toilet papers that are not safe for plumbing. Check out this article that we have shared that talks about the history of toilet paper. We shared interesting facts about TP that you might not be aware of.
Quilted and Soft
A soft and plush label means that the toilet paper is thick and that it expands. You need the toilet paper to degrade and not to expand so that it can easily go down the drain. Also, some toilet paper contains bleaches and oil which makes them softer but can harm your plumbing system.
Take note that just because the toilet paper is labeled as flushable does not really mean that it is safe for flushing. Some toilet papers are made of multiple layers and flushing them can cause the toilet to clog. These toilet papers also do not degrade faster.
Triple or Quadruple Ply
While they may be comfortable to use, triple or quadruple ply toilet paper has more layers which means that they take a lot of time to break down.
Toilet papers that are scented have chemicals that are not good for your septic system. The toxic chemicals can damage the delicate balance of the microorganisms in your septic system.
Why Should We Not Use Toilet Paper?
A lot of chemicals are used in the production of toilet paper. These chemicals can be toxic and may enter through the skin. One of the chemicals used in making toilet paper is chlorine which can create dangerous toxins like furans and dioxin. When these toxins accumulate in the body, they can lead to dangerous health situations. While you would want your toilet paper to be as soft and as white as possible, you need to avoid it because those kinds of toilet paper are the ones that use the most chemicals. We have also shared this article that discusses if toilet paper really cleans. Check out the article for more information about the topic.
Is Toilet Paper Toxic?
The chemicals that are used to process toilet paper can make it toxic. Chlorine is one of the worst chemicals used in making toilet paper. Make sure that you are aware of the chemicals that are present in the toilet paper that you are using since they can easily enter the body through the skin and cause health issues. Choose toilet paper with the least amount of chemicals as possible.
A 2010 study investigates the possibility that toilet paper is the reason for chronic irritation of the vulva. In that study, it is discovered that formaldehyde is sometimes used to enhance the wet strength of toilet paper. Aside from being a skin irritant, formaldehyde is known to cause cancer.
This is a chemical that is usually used in the production of recycled toilet paper. Research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found traces of that notorious endocrine disrupter in toilet paper. Recycled toilet paper is often made up of receipts printed on thermal paper which is coated in dye and a developer such as BPA. The heat during printing triggers a reaction between the dye and the developer which causes the black print to appear. On the other hand, BPA in toilet paper is so small and the exposure risk is tiny.
What Can Be Used Instead of Toilet Paper?
Some alternatives that can be used for toilet paper include a bidet, sanitary pad, reusable cloths, towels, and washcloths.
This features a small bowl or receptacle that is used to rinse after using the toiler. Some bidets are directly attached to the toilet while others are standalone pieces. If you want an affordable option, you can have one that can be easily attached to the toilet. There are many kinds of bidet that you can find on the market. We have also written this article titled, is toilet paper better than water? Check out the article for more information about the topic.
This is also a good alternative to toilet paper because it is soft and absorbent. While they are expensive, you do not need to use many of them. On the other hand, since they are made from thick materials, you should not flush sanitary pads down the toilet as they can cause clogging.
This is also referred to as fabric toilet paper. It is thicker as compared to toilet paper. On the other hand, according to the University of Arizona Office of Public Affairs, the use of reusable cloth can transmit infections from one family member to another because it may contain bacteria and other pathogens.
Towels and washcloths
If you have towels and washcloths that you are no longer using, you can recycle them into smaller strips for toilet use. Make sure that you disinfect them thoroughly so that they remain clean and germ-free.
You have reached the end of this article that discussed why toilet paper is bad. We have found out that toilet paper is not as healthy as we’d hoped it would be. They can be bad for the environment, the health, as well as the plumbing system of your home. Since chemicals are used in producing toilet paper, they can be toxic to the health. Make sure that you carefully choose the brand and type of toilet paper that you use at home. Better yet, you can choose from the alternatives that we have mentioned above. Thank you for reading!