She stood up for her right to use the toilet!

March 24, 2009

Illinois teenager Ally Bain was shopping in an Old Navy store when she needed to use the restroom.   The store management insisted there were no restrooms for customers and Ally had an accident.   You see, Ally has Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and her need to use toilet is both urgent and sudden.  She is “restroom challenged.” Ally’s speaking out on her right to use a restroom eventually resulted in passage of the Illinois  Restroom Access Act, or Ally’s Law .

While Ally sets a great example by speaking out, the Illinois law protects only people who are restroom challenged because of medical conditions.

Fortunately, in the great majority of states, including Oregon, customers already have the right to use the restroom.   Building codes require construction projects designed to welcome the public to have toilets to serve them.    Plumbing codes spell this out.  For more information on the Uniform Plumbing Code, which applies statewide in Oregon, see the American Restroom Association’s discussion of Building and Plumbing Codes.

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Our Mission Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

Our Vision Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland, Oregon and today collaborates with groups across North America.

PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

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