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Those 'Hygienic' Toilet Seats At O'Hare May Not Be So Clean

A concourse at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Karen Bleier
/
AFP/Getty Images
A concourse at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

If you have to go while at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, then you need to know this:

"Motorized 'hygienic seats' that a controversial new janitorial contractor installed recently at O'Hare Airport are not very hygienic after all," theChicago Sun-Times reports.

Designed to automatically cover the seats with a fresh plastic wrap after each use, the gizmo "drags up liquid from the rim of toilet bowls and leaves drops of that liquid atop seats, on the clear plastic film," according to the newspaper. It has video here.

The contractor, according to Crain's Chicago Business, has been controversial because United Maintenance Co. did not tell authorities that it had sold a large stake of itself to another firm before winning the city business. Crain's, which has said the nearly $100 million contract now needs to be investigated, says " city law would appear to clearly require that bidders fully disclose their ownership to the city, so that aldermen and the public know who's getting what."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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