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Health officials regularly inspect restrooms in county's public schools

Monday, February 28, 2000

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Allegheny County Health Department inspects public school restrooms at least every three years. It also checks complaints immediately, spokesman Dave Zazac said.

The department's priorities are to make sure restrooms are clean and that they offer adequate supplies of soap, paper towels and trash cans.

"Obviously, students should be able to go in and use the bathroom safely," Zazac said.

The Health Department also checks for the proper number of toilets and sinks for the student body. A school must provide one sink for every 50 students; one urinal for every 30 boys (elementary and secondary), one toilet for every 40 girls at the secondary level or for every 30 in elementary school; and one toilet for every 70 boys at the secondary level and for every 40 at the elementary.

Zazac said "privacy stalls" with doors were not mandatory.

How clean is your school restroom? Here are some of the items the Health Department looks for on a routine inspection:

Is there a separate bathroom for boys and girls?

Is there hot and cold running water in each bathroom?

Is there a working sink in each separate toilet facility?

Can the toilets be viewed from the door? There should be a partition or other means of providing privacy.

Are the floors clean?

Is the soap dispenser filled and working properly?

Is there toilet paper in each stall?

Are there paper towels or a hot-air hand dryer?

Are there trash containers, and are they regularly emptied?

Are the sanitary boxes in the girls' bathrooms emptied regularly?

Is the room well lit?

Is there adequate ventilation?

Is there mold or mildew on the walls or ceiling?

Are the ceilings and walls smooth, easy to clean and in good repair?

Is there peeling paint, peeling or flaking plaster?

Do any of the sink faucets or drainpipes leak?

Are the urinals free of debris?

Students can call the Health Department at 412-687-2243.

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