The Mysterious Blue Liquid In Porta-Potties Explained
Contemplating the contents of portable toilets is a rare pastime and not a favorite for the faint-of-heart. Still, what is in that tank is responsible for how pleasant or unpleasant your PT customer’s experience will be, and it demands recognition, but probably no applause.
Songs and movies speak of lagoons, love, gardenias and moons that are sometimes blue, as well as our changing moods and musical choices. These “blues” are self-evident and explainable, but what about that mysterious deep blue found in porta-potties everywhere? What can anyone say about that? Well… so glad you asked.
The History Of Blue Liquid and Portable Restroom Deodorizer
For all the changes this blue liquid has undergone over the course of time, its primary purpose has remained the same. It is meant to keep portable toilets smelling fresh and clean at all times. Portable restrooms use 90% less water than conventional toiletsand according to PSAI, they save about 125 million gallons of fresh water every day because waste is not flushed away every time the porta-potty is used. But what powers does this mysterious blue liquid hold and how did it come to be?
Portable restrooms have a formidable history dating back to World War II. Initially invented to accommodate ship crews who spent a long time at sea, these early utilitarian structures were comprised of metal and wood and were very heavy, smelly and difficult to clean. In addition, the main ingredient in early toilet deodorizers was formaldehyde, which helped to cover waste, keep restrooms cleans and mask foul odors. While it did this job to a limited degree, it was also toxic to human health and harsh on the environment.
How Does The Use Of Formaldehyde Affect The Environment?
While formaldehyde can naturally occur within the environment, released through animal waste, seawater and the smoke of forest fires, it is primarily emitted by industrial sources. Within the atmosphere, formaldehyde breaks down rapidly and creates harmful substances such as formic acid and carbon dioxide.
Studies have indicated that when animals are exposed to formaldehyde, it can make them sick, affect their behavior, appearance, breeding patterns and significantly reduce their life spans. It can also affect food chains because this substance is highly toxic to aquatic life including fish, shellfish and other river creatures. A 2003 study conducted by F.A. Malek and published in the Journal of Experimental Animal Science,indicated that the exposure of rats to low levels of formaldehyde vapor concentrations caused significant alterations in their motor activities.
The Dangers of Formaldehyde To Human Health
Formaldehyde is a simple chemical compound made of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. All life forms, including bacteria, fish, animals and humans, produce this amalgam as part of cell metabolism. It is also naturally present in many fruits, vegetables, coffee and alcoholic beverages. For many years, this colorless gas was integral to the creation of building materials and household products and has a long history of safe use in the manufacture of vaccines, anti-infective drugs and hard-gel capsules. Despite this, formaldehyde exposure and its industrial applications have been well studied over the course of the last thirty years, and the results are pretty scary,especially for children and the elderly.
Early laboratory studies dating back to the 1980s indicated that exposure to formaldehyde were factors in nasal cancer in rats. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. In 2011, The National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12thReport on Carcinogens.
Formaldehyde irritates human airways and is believed to cause cancer of the throat. Exposure is a special concern for children, who can become easily sensitized and the elderly who are likely to be less able to tolerate high levels of contact.
Advancements Within the Portable Toilet Industry
Scientific advancements have transformed the portable toilet industry. Innovations concerning both newer and lighter materials for construction such as fiberglass followed by polyethylene, and Surco’s invention of a non-formaldehyde, ultra concentrated, blue bacterial inhibitor and odor neutralizer have altered the landscape of the portable toilet industry forever.
Although formaldehyde is still used in certain parts of the country and banned in others, there is an active movement towards developing an awareness of the need for safer products. The demand for biological products in today’s marketplace continues to rise because they are safe and 100% environmentally friendly.
Portable restroom deodorizers are safer, more cost effective and better than ever before in modern history. This is largely due to the scientific advancements uncovered by the scientific researchers at our Pittsburgh-based laboratories.
What Are The Ingredients Found in The Blue Liquid?
Most portable restroom deodorizers contain four main components. They are, not necessarily in order of importance: biocides, dye, fragrance and detergents. Uniquely, in the case Surco’s formulation, we have added a superior fifth ingredient — our Metazene odor-neutralizing additive that combats malodors in the vapor-phase (above the water surface).
Biocides hinder the growth of gram-positive odor-producing bacteria, which helps to maintain freshness for longer periods of time. They also prevent some odor-causing bacteria from multiplying. The blue dye hides the waste and debris that lies beneath the surface and the fragrance covers lingering odors. Detergents are agents that cause selected fragrances to dissolve in water, which aids the scent in becoming more uniform in nature. There are many scent options for the restroom provider to choose from.
The average company maintenance staff often needs outside professional help, and that’s where Surco and its super silent additive, Metazene, arrive upon the scene to save the foul- smelling day. This odor neutralizer has been successfully used in thousands upon thousands of products all over the world, and it has contributed greatly to our status as a leader in advanced odor-control technology. All of our portable toilet deodorizers are user-friendly, formaldehyde-free and come in both liquid and dry packet portable toilet deodorants.
Our molecular vapor-phase odor neutralizer additive is not only safe to use, it is also the best odor-fighting deodorizer on the market today. This non-formaldehyde product is at the heart of Surco’s superior ability to eradicate foul smells within commercial spaces of all types.
The Portable Toilet Blue Liquid And Its Use
One rule of thumb to the user when using a porta potty is to never look inside the tank. While curiosity may have killed that proverbial cat, the view of the belly of a portable toilet is more than enough to cause the “upchuck” of one’s previous meal. There is no disguising the disgusting vision and smell of human waste, and no chemical on earth can cover it up!
But the blue liquid inside every porta-potty does its best to do just that, and if a portable restroom isn’t over-used, the majority of the contents of the tank are not likely to be visible. As long as the end user doesn’t push their luck and get too inquisitive, the experience will not be unpleasant and the illusion created by the blue dye will work.
Deodorizing technology has come a long way over the course of the last few decades. The focus for researchers developing new products at the Surco Technological Center situated in the heart of Pittsburgh has shifted from eliminating microbial life that may live inside the porta-potty tank to the introduction of beneficial biological digesters, enzymes and microbes that feed on odor-causing bacteria. In addition to addressing restroom malodors, some of the newer biological additives even speed up the decomposition of toilet paper, which means that tanks can last longer without being emptied prematurely.
Why Choose Our Portable Toilet Odor Neutralizing Products?
Portable toilets are a boon to mankind, but they can’t work on their own. Surco has been a household name since the mid 1940s and we are the inventors of the ultra concentrated non-formaldehyde portable toilet chemicals that were once known as “syrups.” Our operations and maintenance require the consistent use of effective odor-control products.
Our intense, deep blue, non-staining dyes hide waste, paper and debris and are a vital ingredient in our line of highly effective portable toilet odor deodorizers, and unlike most other manufactures, we never utilize inferior surplus fragrances, a fact that has let to us being universally known for providing the highest quality scented products.
The Berry Cherry Water Soluble Packets
These convenient and easy to use packets combine the fragrance customers’ request the most with superior odor-control performance. They also contain five elements: powerful, effective scent; Metazene; potent biocide, detergents and deep blue non-staining dye. These containers provide a punch in the sense that they offer more “product” per packet, which translates into a stronger fragrance, higher level of odor control and more blue than their competitors.
The Berry Cherry Water Soluble Packetsprovide the highest level of freshness to any portable toilet service. They are power-packed with the deepest blue and most powerful odor killers found anywhere. They are available in only one extreme strength, which eliminates the need for judgments and comparisons.
Portion control is another advantage because it prevents overuse, waste and theft. These packets are clean and easy to handle. They don’t get sticky and there’s no chance that fingers will turn blue, as is often the case with other brands.
Potty Fresh Plus Packets
These are the best dry toss portable toilet deodorant concentrate packets on the market today. They are specially designed for use during the warmer months of the year. The fragrance is pleasing and summery and is tinged with strong biocides to combat hotter climates and heavier traffic. These biocides reduce odor-causing components and keep toilets fresh for longer periods. Their effectiveness is also attributed to Metazene, which neutralizes odor molecules and Surco’s deep blue, non-staining dye, which disguises waste, paper and debris.
The Continual 60-Day Self-Lock “Hanging” Air Freshener Straps
These patented waterproof polymer straps allow for 60 consecutive days of additional odor control. Laden with fragrance, these straps are versatile and can hang anywhere long-lasting odor control is desired. Their self-locking design affixes easily to the inside cabana exhaust pipe, and the locking clip, which is optional, effectively deters damage via vandalism. They are particularly effective when used with other Surco family products, namely the WiZZardTM highly fragrances urinal screens and solid fragrance disks.
The WiZZard Urinal Screen
Our sescent-loaded special screens continuously freshen a commercial restroom for up to 60 days and they contain up to 10 times more aroma than most other other vinyl urinal screens available on the market today.The screens provide superior fragrance and powerful odor control via Metazene. They are available in a variety of colors and scents and can be packed individually or in bulk.
Our Portable Toilet Spray and Washdown
We’re written extensively about the power behind our PT Spray and Washdown, but the takeaway is it’s the perfect deep cleaning force to ameliorate tough dirt and grime in portable restroom cabins, particularly in hotter climates and higher traffic conditions.
The Future Of The Portable Toilet Industry and Surco
The portable toilet industry has traveled a long and innovative path over the course of the last seventy odd years. Surco has always been a leader in this field with its invention of a non-formaldehyde, ultra concentrated, blue bacterial inhibitor and non-staining blue dye. All of our creations reflect our true and abiding concern for PT customers and suppliers throughout the world. We are pioneers in the development and manufacture of unique and effective products.
The future of the portable toilet industry is largely dependant upon continuing scientific research and technological advances. There is no telling what tomorrow may bring, but today, scientists within this industrial landscape are focused on developing more beneficial products to portable restroom users.
It is impossible to estimate where this emphasis will take them, but it does seem likely that advances in technology and the expansion of knowledge that comes with it will continue to expand and improve the quality of services and products designed to accommodate the portable restroom experience and the dynamic needs and desires of users.
The next time your customers use a porta-potty, help change their attitude. Instead of considering it to be an “any port in a storm” sort of thing, they’ll think of it as a small gesture on your part that contributes to a pleasant porta-potty experience! There’s no need to salute, but a new respect is destined to linger in the sweet-smelling air.
If you’re a PT supplier, don’t hesitate to submit an inquiry or call us today for a fresher smelling tomorrow!
Final thoughts on portable toilets: Waste is a terrible thing to mind. ~ Anonymous