Colored toilet paper is now a household staple, but is it safe? Manufacturers admit that the dyes used to turn standard white paper blue, green, pink or purple are non-toxic, but some experts are concerned about the potential side effects of using the dyed paper. These range from skin irritations to increased risk of certain diseases.
If you are like most of us, you probably think the colored toilet paper is a waste of money. But there are other reasons why you should stop buying colored toilet paper. Here are three reasons you should stop buying colored toilet paper. 1. It Doesn’t Make Your Life Better In fact, if you are like most of us, you probably think the colored toilet paper is a waste of money. But there are other reasons why you should stop buying colored toilet paper. Here are three reasons you should stop buying colored toilet paper. 1. It Doesn’t Make Your Life Better
Remember the last time you saw colored toilet paper, let alone used it. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Most brands stopped using colored toilet paper years ago, and not just because our bathroom fixtures started to change. Almost overnight, colored paper changed from a fashion statement to the cause of everything from fungal infections to cancer. Some people refused to buy it (the claims, not the toilet paper – the paper they continued to love to buy). According to them, these claims were nothing more than an excuse for toilet paper manufacturers to save millions of dollars a year on dyes. But what is the truth? If you have a secret passion for purple toilet paper, can you indulge it?
The strange story of coloured toilet paper
In the 1950s, color coordination was king. If your towels didn’t fit in your bathtub or your tiles didn’t fit in your sink, you were nobody. Not surprisingly, colored toilet paper was in high demand at the time. If a housewife had walked into a store in the 1950s and seen only white paper, who knows what she would have done. Blue, yellow, green, pink… All the colors of the rainbow were represented, and if they matched the rest of your bathroom, it was perfect.
And then came the 80s, and suddenly all those rainbow-colored sandwiches disappeared. Doctors have started spreading scary stories about what can happen if you indulge in a colored sandwich. Environmentalists are only too happy to tell us how our desire for coloured toilet paper is affecting the oceans. Like the final nail in the coffin, we no longer cared about the adequacy of our bathrooms.
At the beginning of the new millennium, you could still find a few rolls of colored paper if you had the right ear and the right contacts, but most of those pretty colors have been replaced by a sea of white. Most people were very happy with the change. But some people are still homesick for the old days. Today the situation seems to be slowly changing. Colored toilet paper is not yet widespread, but more and more young and trendy people are looking for it. Are they reasonable? Unlikely.
Health considerations aside, one of the main reasons for the decline in the popularity of colored toilet paper since the 1980s has been a change in our decorating habits. By 1985, we had had enough of gold and avocados and longed for the simple pleasures of an all-white bathroom. As sunrisespecialty.com (www.sunrisespecialty.com/colored-toilet-paper) notes, the design change meant that the colored paper was no longer appropriate. Colored toilet paper in an all-white design is bold and retro, and not in a good way. Even in households that still use the full color spectrum, the idea of colored toilet paper seemed outdated.
While the change in style was a major factor in the decline in popularity of colored toilet paper, the real deciding factor was the reported health risks associated with its use. Hunker points out that the synthetic dyes used in colored toilet paper pose many health risks. Some are trivial and easy to treat (unless you consider a UTI trivial), while others are more worrisome. According to non-stophealthy.com (www.non-stophealthy.com/colored-perfumed-toilet-paper-is-dangerous-to-your-health-heres-why-you-shouldnt-use-it/), these are some of the unpleasant side effects you can expect from using colored toilet paper:
- Urinary tract infections – Stained toilet paper is believed to cause enough irritation to cause a urinary tract infection. If you don’t like going from one course of antibiotics to another, that’s probably enough to turn you away from this method.
- Fungal Infections – If you got a fungal infection during the colored toilet paper mania, it was common. The synthetic dyes and perfumes used to perfume the paper were clearly not intended to come into contact with the skin, as evidenced by the fact that within a short time almost every other gynecological examination was accompanied by the question: Do you use coloured toilet paper?
- Cervical Cancer – If urolithiasis and fungal infections weren’t reason enough to avoid colored toilet paper already, the following reason certainly is. According to some studies, colored toilet paper can have a devastating effect on the reproductive system and even increase the risk of cervical cancer.
- Rectal problems – Using toilet paper with synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances can cause irritation and inflammation of the rectum, which few of us would do.
Ultimately, no toilet paper is completely ecological. Or even a little bit, actually. It is a disposable paper product manufactured through a wasteful production process and will never score high on sustainability. But when you consider colored toilet paper, the situation gets even worse. Flushing all those synthetic dyes down the toilet will not do the oceans any good, nor will the synthetic perfumes that all too often accompany them. Even leaving aside the impact on the world at large and looking at our own home, the consequences of using colored paper can be fatal. Due to the high dye content, paper breaks down very slowly, which can lead to your own little environmental nightmare. If you have a septic tank, be very careful.
Party… But not quite
So they are bad for the environment, bad for your health and, since they cost much more than a regular white sandwich, bad for your wallet. Not surprisingly, in the 1980s most people were happy to switch to white paper. But despite all the fears, some people continued to eat rainbow-colored sandwiches. Even when Renova started charging $16 a pack for its colorful toilet paper rolls, some people jumped at it to grab them. And apparently sales are now starting to recover, thanks in large part to a return to the fashions of the 60s and 70s. But is it worth watching out for fungal infections, urolithiasis and rectal irritation? Obviously, no one can make the decision for you. But if $16 only gets you hassles and boring colors in the bathroom, then we’ll stick with white.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why can you buy colored toilet paper anymore?
In the past, you could only buy white toilet paper, but these days, many stores have an abundance of color options for your wiping pleasure. The idea of colored toilet paper might make you think that it’s less effective at cleaning up after you do your business, but that’s not the case. It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when toilet paper wasn’t available in a range of colors. But, for some reason, toilet paper manufacturers stuck to white and off-white until the late 1960s when they started introducing colored TP. Now, you can buy toilet paper in an array of colors to match the decor of any bathroom. If you’re wondering what color toilet paper to buy, ask yourself a few questions. For example, do you live in a house, condo, apartment or dorm room, and which of these spaces would you like to decorate with colored toilet paper? Or, would you prefer to let your guests choose their own color?
Why is colored toilet paper bad for you?
We all remember the first time we saw colored toilet paper. We were standing in the aisle at our local big box store or department store, and couldn’t believe our eyes. No longer were we forced to choose between boring white and blue (although we’ve always been partial to the latter). Now there were over a dozen different options, and we couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. Colored toilet paper is one of those things you don’t give a lot of thought to until you’re actually using it. Then, you realize it’s not as great as it sounds. Colored toilet paper isn’t actually any different from white toilet paper. The colors are made with colorants (chemicals) that are added to the paper pulp before it is made into toilet paper rolls.
Was colored toilet paper a thing?
Yes, it’s true that if you grew up in the United States, you probably grew up with white toilet paper. But did you know there was a time when colored toilet paper was not just for kids? The truth is colored toilet paper has been a thing for a long time, going back at least a century. The first color toilet paper was yellow, and as you can imagine, was used because of its ability to hide mistakes. Yup, toilet paper was first used in homes as a tool to clean up after mistakes. In fact, colored toilet paper was a thing for a few decades, until it was eventually replaced by white toilet paper for adults and children. Most of us have a favorite type of toilet paper. Some of us like the soft feeling of cloth-like toilet paper. Others prefer the extra-absorbency of two-ply toilet paper. Others still like their toilet paper to be triple-thick rolls. But what if the standard, white toilet paper that you buy at the store every time you buy toilet paper was never really the standard? In fact, what if colored toilet paper has been around for years, but you just didn’t know about it?
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