China to restrict fly numbers in its public toilets

New measures planned to improve toilet hygiene standards

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 February, 2013, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 February, 2013, 3:46pm

Chinese Health Ministry is planning to improve the hygiene standards of China’s public toilets – it even intends to restrict the number of flies in them. Under the new requirements, no more than three flies will be allowed per square metre in each toilet.

At the most, only three flies will be allowed per square metre in stand-alone public toilets. Only one fly will be allowed in public toilets built within other facilities, according to the new draft hygiene standards.

The Health Ministry released the draft on Thursday to solicit public opinion, Southern Metropolis Daily reported. Once they are approved, the regulations are expected to be strictly enforced, rather than just be recommendations as in the past.

The new requirements classify all public toilets into four classes according to their odour levels. These are: no odours; slight odours; apparent odours; and strong odours.

Under the new rules, no toilet will be allowed to have more than a slight odour. Odour levels, caused by ammonia and hydrogen sulphide, will be evaluated by special teams.

China has long been notorious for its dirty public toilets. The new draft regulations reflect the government’s determination to change this.

The draft laws also stipulate that every facility will employ staff to regularly clean them.

They also aim to conserve water. They will require all public toilets to install water-efficient flushing and taps equipped with sensors.

The news generated a sensation online, with hundreds of microbloggers discussing them.

One blogger said he was worried the stricter hygiene standards might lead to higher fees for using public toilets. Other bloggers found the rules on fly numbers amusing, one called them “birth control for flies”.