Toilet Seats Lead to Chemical Burns — Ouch!

March 19, 2007

by Claris Olson, HSC Environmental Health Specialist

When we talk about the health benefits of green cleaning, we usually talk about minimizing exposures to harmful chemicals that can injure custodial staff and exacerbate indoor air quality that contributes to asthma, the leading cause of student absenteeism.

Chemical burns among students are not a common topic. But last month, KFDX Channel 3 reported on students and a custodian at a Wichita Falls, Texas elementary school suffering chemical burns after using toilet seats that were treated with a caustic cleaning agent. I wonder how often incidents like this occur that are not reported in the media.

Of all the things parents worry about when sending their children off to school, probably no one thought about chemical-burn-causing toilet seats! For schools with green cleaning programs in place, parents won’t have to think twice.