Fear Of Germs In Public Toilets? Dubai Students Have A Solution For Dh10

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sat 18 May 2024, 7:03 AM

Last updated: Sat 18 May 2024, 7:16 AM

Students from a Dubai university have developed innovative and affordable commode covers to enhance sanitary hygiene in public toilets.

With a price tag of less than Dh10, it is an option many would consider in order to safeguard against disease-causing bacteria and fungi that infest toilet seats.

A group of second and third year cross-disciplinary students from the Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has created a portable applicator that contains plastic seat covers.

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Speaking to Khaleej Times, one of the members, Hanna Gajol, said:“I use many public toilets and some can actually be quite unclean. Although, I have to say toilets in Dubai are fairly clean as compared to many other countries in the world. However, as we frequently travel abroad, I found public toilets in some European countries don't even have tissues. So I always carry disinfectant wipes or a spray.”

Talking about the usual anxiety that many people experience while using public toilets, Gajol said:“Some people I know avoid sitting on a public toilet seat. They hover, squat, use toilet paper as a liner, or even resist the urge to use the bathroom. They do not want to touch the bowl in any way for fear of germs. The idea stems from these experiences as well.”

Dubbed as SafeSeat, the product is also meant to be a disruptive business solution in response to a study published by HealthNews that revealed some bacteria on public toilet seats can cause urinary tract and gut infections.

Other members of the team include Ayesha Jumani, Rachelle Hombria, Ziad Akiki and Romell Surti - all having a common subject called 'Entrepreneurship'.

Explaining the functioning of SafeSeat, Hanna said,“Unlike most toilet seat covers, where each is packed in plastic, we have created a durable and long-lasting applicator that contains 50 pieces of the seat cover roll. We are using a biodegradable plastic so that it can dissolve when users flush, and when the pack runs out, they can get a refill.”

Another team member, Rachelle, said that most plastic seat covers require users to cling the seat cover onto the bowl using their bare hands.“But we have incorporated a hook that reduces the likelihood of people coming in contact with germs. The product is chemical-free, meaning there is no risk of allergies, irritations, or rashes, unlike seat disinfectant sprays. Moreover, the product is convenient to carry and budget-friendly compared to other products of this kind.”

With the prototype ready, the team is hoping to launch the product by the end of this year.

Romell Surti, a fresh graduate from CUD, said,“We are getting raw materials from suppliers based in China and assembling the components here. We don't yet have a manufacturing plant in Dubai. Based on the minimum order quantity, we will develop 50,000 units initially. Once that is sold, we will look for investors to build a manufacturing plant to buy in the next few years. That is our forecast. Along with the applicator and 50 sheets, the selling price will be around Dh 10 per unit. It will be available via our e-commerce website or through various popup stores in Dubai, as well as pharmacies.”


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