Artistic life of toilet roll cut short by disease

7th June 1996 at 01:00
Bad news for infant teachers: cardboard toilet roll tubes, one of the raw materials for making binoculars, boats and other junior works of art, have been branded a health risk.

Some schools have already stopped using the tubes, made famous by the Blue Peter programme along with washing-up liquid bottles, and the latest health advice backs them up.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr Ian Hosein, consultant microbiologist at the Public Health Laboratory Service, warns: "Because of the potential for rapid spread of enteric [intestinal] diseases in nursery and infant schoolchildren I think that the cardboard tubes should not be used. "

He said the tubes could be soiled by people using the toilet before they have washed their hands.

Wendy Scott, chair of the British Association for Early Years Education, said: "There are many alternatives such as the tubes from kitchen rolls and aluminium foil which are stronger and more useful because they come in different lengths."

A BBC spokesman said Blue Peter presenters now only recommend using kitchen roll tubes.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today