Why Do Some Public Toilets Have U-Shaped Lids?

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Did you ever wonder why some public toilets are designed in a U-shape? Your wildest questions are answered below!

Source: http://now.howstuffworks.com/2017/02/08/...

1. We have to travel back to 1955 to find an answer to this question.

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1955 was the year American Standard National Plumbing Code was created. This code required every public toilet to use materials that are not soft and absorbing. Also, this code conditioned that all lids should be in U-shaped.

2. Since then, the public toilets in the USA are designed in a U-shape as shown in the image below.

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Certainly, this code does not apply a strong enforcement. However, this code is followed in many public places and use of these U-shaped lids is very widespread.

But why have these U-shaped lids became an obligation?

3. Lynne Simnick, who works in American Standard National Plumbing Code, explains this situation as follows:

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Simnick states that the gap which is located on the front of the lid is necessary for people to clean their genitals with toilet paper. This lid creates a convenience especially for women as they don't have to stand up or touch the outer lid while cleaning out.

4. Yet, there are other theories on the subject.

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One of these theories claims that this gap is created to avoid the few drops men leave while urinating. U-shaped toilets are developed to provide a more hygienic atmosphere in public toilets.

5. Another theory states that U-shaped lids prevent genitals from touching the lid.

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This is especially valid and necessary for public toilets. This is the reason why some people claim that U-shaped lids are developed with this in consideration.

6. Nevertheless, not all theories are related to hygiene...

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It is also believed that U-shaped lids are much cheaper to produce. Since less material is required to create a U-shaped, producers might as well think that this is cost-effective. Still, it seems slightly irrational that this is the sole reason for creating U-shaped lids.

7. Some people claim that this design is developed to prevent people from stealing the toilet lids!

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You might wonder who would bother to steal a public toilet but this is a widespread problem in the United States. This situation occurs in some public places so frequently that these places have to come up with their own solutions. Although this seems as a weak theory for using U-shaped toilets, there is still a correlation.

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