How The Toilet Changed History

This video was supported by Bill and Melinda Gates. You can check out the Gates Annual Letter here:
↓ More info and sources below ↓

We’re proud to collaborate with Bill and Melinda Gates for this week’s video! It may sometimes seem like things are getting worse, but there’s lots of reasons to be optimistic about the future. More people have access to toilets and sanitation than ever before. Thanks to public health improvements like this, since 1990, 122 million children’s lives have been saved. Diseases like polio are nearing eradication. Women have more access to health care and education than ever before.

But our work is not done. How can YOU help make the future better for the world’s poorest?

Bill and Melinda Gates
Francisco de los Reyes (watch his TED talk:


George, Rose. “The Big Necessity: The unmentionable world of human waste and why it matters.” 2008.

Perdew, Laura. “How the Toilet Changed History” 2016.

Ferriman, A. (2007). BMJ readers choose the “sanitary revolution” as greatest medical advance since 1840. BMJ : British Medical Journal, 334(7585), 111.

CDC Global WASH statistics:

WHO Toilet/Sanitation Fact Sheet:

WaterAid “We Can’t Wait”:

Unilever “Toilets for Health”


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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
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Produced by PBS Digital Studios
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It's Okay To Be Smart says:

It’s incredible to me that in our age of iPhones, drones, and YouTube, 1 in 3 people on Earth still lack access to basic sanitary toilets. LOTS of people, mainly children, die unnecessarily as a result. I think it’s time we flush this problem once and for all, don’t you? Something to think about next time you sit on your porcelain throne.

Cameron Koether says:

Love the “Demolition Man” reference. Anyone catch that?

Fascist Mexican Mapping says:


Limerence says:

I wonder how much more people could be helped if charity was pushed by law rather than out of the goodness of people’s hearts?!

Beth Ripp says:

that’s sad :(((((

republic1001 says:

Sir John Harington is connected with Kit Harington. Otherwise known as John snow!!

Aaron Ly says:


eric vulgate says:

interestingly to me, many aromatics actually ARE anti-bacterial.
those plague masks might not have been completely useless after all.

Ethie May R. Salarda says:

I am eating poop while watching this video

JoGui Aqui says:

Aaaaaaaaaaaand now I don´t want to live in the past any more

Bret .Maverick says:

But even with all those deaths the world population isn’t going down.

AusumnPlayz / TrueAC says:

This was a crappy video

. says:

Broad Street Pump.

Super tree 9678 says:

Can some one make pant that is a toilet like a bag is the back

Messiah Tahuri says:

John snows off game of thrones

Super dank Puger says:

4:20 what kind of map is this?

Andy Gomez says:

Why did i watch this video?

Greg Egan says:

“Sometimes more if you’ve had Taco Bell” lmfao.

Cristian Jimenez says:

I was literally pooping while watching this

Maarten Smits says:

Can you make a video about over population?

RunnyNose says:

Watched while pooing

Seeking Truth says:

Is it just me that is annoyed with the fact that we defecate in clean water instead of, say the soil?

xTreme Gamer says:

“More than 1 billion people defecate in open” … theyre called indians

Atheer M. says:

For god sake how u ppl get clean after pooping with just toilet paper??!??!!?

Tim Gaskell says:

It’s no 2 sea shells!!! HA!!! Yes!!! “Blast From The Past!” Be Well!

sushanalone says:

My heart is the ocean and the world is my toilet!

Cristian Jimenez says:

I was literally pooping while watching this

Abhijit Zimare says:

Ironically, India invented the sanitation system and now we lack it.

macsnafu says:

A lack of a sanitary toilet (or indoor plumbing) is simply another consequence of poverty, and dealing with it is little different from dealing with poverty itself. Poverty is the original or “natural” condition of humanity, and wealth is largely the creation of increased productivity, and the freedom to invest and innovate. Productivity is increased through savings, i.e. deferring current consumption for later consumption. Savings can then be used towards increasing productivity and creating more wealth. More wealth means more people can afford sanitary toilets, indoor plumbing, and other such modern conveniences.

A major problem in increasing productivity, besides less liberty and minimal property rights in many parts of the world, are the central banks that continually increase the money supply of their currency and distort interest rates, which are essentially the “price” of using someone else’s savings or deferred consumption. This continual inflation and interest distortion discourages savings and encourages borrowing, which, among other things, hinders and distorts the development of increased productivity.

Rahim EL-MullA says:

India live in middle ages

Laura&Gabby blackma says:

Can poop kill you

EL ADI Ali says:

Hope someone invents a toilet for trash because this is also becoming an issue.

Vesta Tajik says:

BUHAHAHAHAHAHA we should all thank kit Harrington and the Starks and Targereans for the toilets then!

Lauren Burke says:

Kit Harington is a direct descendant of John Harington if you were wondering lmao

Dork-A -Licious says:

“Thomas Crapper”
Is that where the word Poop came from?

Party Blossom says:

Why was this posted on Valentine’s day?

BZZBBZ Gaming says:

You may know something, John Snow.

Tri Nguyen says:

what a shitty video.

SuperBeardyWeirdy says:

how do you use the three sea shells?

KnowledgeSeeker says:

now somebody should invent a toilet without urine back-splash on pants. that invention will really change history. current toilets with urine back-splash are just advanced stage of barbarism.

Lauren Burke says:

you made a Jon Snow joke but you failed to mention the fact that Kit Harington is actually related to John Harington

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