Why is the Water in a Portable Toilet Blue?


You can find portable toilets most commonly at concerts, construction sites or theme parks. This equipment is convenient and saves millions of dollars of water, as opposed to your traditional flushable toilet. Although these portable toilets are popular and saving a ton of money on water, what on earth is the blue liquid in these toilets? 

Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a portable toilet has seen this dark blue liquid at the bottom of the toilet. Have you ever wondered what it is and why they use it? Why is it blue? Do the ingredients in this mysterious liquid actually mask the odors? Below holds all the answers and more behind this blue liquid. 

What is the Liquid Exactly 

This dark blue liquid that fills the bottom of each portable toilet is a liquid deodorizer. This liquid is extremely important because, as we all know, this specific model of portable toilet does not have a flushing feature. There is no way to avoid the odor that comes from people using the restroom throughout the day, and no way to get rid of the waste. 

In the past, companies that manufacture portable toilets would use a liquid deodorizer product that contained formaldehyde. This was the main ingredient used to help mask the foul odor, keep the portable toilet clean, as well as covering the waste. However, this ingredient is also dangerous to humans and the environment. Now, there are non-formaldehyde options that do just as good of a job as the one containing the harmful ingredient. 

Below are the main components that go into making this liquid deodorizer:

  • Biocides- this ingredient inhibits the growth of odor-producing gram-positive bacteria. It is responsible for many bad odors, which help to shut down rapid growth of bacteria that creates an unpleasant smell.   
  • Dye- this component is what gives the liquid the blue color. The color is used to help mask the contents in the portable toilet, as opposed to clear liquid.
  • Fragrance- this component helps to mask the residual odors and help provide a more pleasant scent after every use. There are a wide variety of scent options available. 
  • Surfactants- this ingredient allows for the fragrance to mix with the water to create a homogeneous mixture. As opposed to just sitting on top of the liquid. 

Is the Liquid in a Portable Toilet Toxic

When the deodorizer is diluted, it is not toxic. This being said, it should never be consumed. However, if a small amount is consumed it is not anything to be concerned about. On the other hand, if the liquid contains formaldehyde, which some companies still use, there are studies showing the danger of this ingredient. Many sources, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), call formaldehyde a human carcinogen

Furthermore, irritating the throat and leading to throat cancer. It is most harmful when consumed by children and the elderly.     

Is it Bad for the Environment 

In the past few years it has been pushed more for producers of these deodorizers to make their products more biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Although formaldehyde occurs naturally in the environment, when emitted by industrial sources, it is harmful. It begins to break down rapidly, thus creating harmful substances such as formic acid and carbon dioxide. 

Not only does the formaldehyde ingredient in the liquid deodorizer affect the environment, but the animals as well. Below is a list of the negative effects formaldehyde has on animals:

  • Makes them sick
  • Affect their behavior
  • Appearance
  • Breeding patterns 
  • Reduce their lifespan

Studies have also shown that this ingredient has a highly negative effect on aquatic life. This includes fish, shellfish, and other river inhabitants. Due to these findings, consumers have pushed for a “greener” liquid and ingredients. This will create fewer chemicals released into the environment. This being said, if you are a producer or distributor of portable toilets, it is important to do your research and choose the liquid that is least toxic to humans, as well as the environment.

Contact Doodie Calls for your Next Portable Toilet Rental

Whether you need portable toilets for construction sites, concerts, or any outdoor events, Doodie Calls has you covered. At Doodie Calls, we provide the best equipment with the highest quality, and focus on safety and reliability. Not only do we provide portable toilet rentals, but luxury toilet trailers, shower trailers, and hand washing facilities. 
If you are in Florida and are in need of portable toilets contact us today. Our standard portable restrooms are comfortable, well ventilated, completely private and can be delivered directly to your residential or commercial construction site in 24 – 48 hours. We are your one stop shop for all your portable sanitation needs.

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